SINGLE MEN BARRACK NO. 5- 1853 -1857

The present Rawalpindi Cantonment is built on the site of ruins of the city of Gajnipur, once the seat of Bhatti tribe. The present Westridge area marks the site of fierce battle fought by the Gakhars under their chief, Sultan Muqarab Khan. At the end of the Second Sikh War the Khalsa Army surrendered on 14 March 1849 under the shadow of Mankiala Stupa close to village Sagri.

The Cantonment was first occupied by troops of the Bengal army in April 1849, but the decision to occupy the station permanently was taken by Marquis of Dalhousie in 1851. Due to Afghan Wars and operations in the North Western Frontier, this Cantonment became the largest in Northern India.

During end of 1851 an architectural design was standardized, keeping in view climatic conditions of plain areas of India, for all buildings utilized forBritish troops’ living. There after Single Men Barracks construction was undertaken in 1853. The Present Victoria Barracks and Margalla Barracks area is cantoned with such Barracks.

At the time of Independence these barracks were occupied by Headquarters Northern Command and when the Pakistan Army Headquarters were raised these sites became permanent home of the present General Headquarters.


Nomenclature: Victoria Barracks (British Infantry) for single men with orderly room at West end.
Number of men for whom accommodation constructed: Single Men 4 – 104
Nature of Building: Walls Brick lined (material / ingredients include lime mortar, pulses, ash, sand and stone dust). Floors brick finished and brick on edge. Roofs dried (kiln dried) Allahabad Tiles and sun dried Allahabad tiles. Doors paneled clay rectory windows glazed.
External Dimension: Length357 ft 9 in
Breadth75 ft 9 in
Plinth area: 27,100 ft
Total area: 1,853 sq ft
Rate per sq ft: Rupees 1 – Annas 11 – Paisas 3.
Value of the Building (1857): Rs. 45,761
Date of erecting: 1853 – 1857
Additional Attached Buildings: Cook house Single Company with warrens cooking range added in 1855 – 1858
Lavatory and two small ablution rooms added in 1853 – 1857
Urinary Drain System added in 1853 – 1857
Washing Compartments added in 1898
Latrine for Orderly Room added in1915-1916
First Occupants: 1st Battalion Connaught Rangers in 1857
Punkhas ceiling: Provided in 1857
Lighting Facility: Rawalpindi Gas–Works were created in 1868; the same year lighting was provided to all single men barracks in area of Victoria and Margalla Barracks