So there is now a rather splendid chunk of 18th century architecture sitting there seriously under-used. A small proportion of the buildings houses three museums: of the town's own history, of the regiment, and the one containing a portion of the Burrell collection, better known from the much larger portion in Glasgow. All of these are theoretically free to enter but you can't get into them without paying the English Heritage admission fee for the barracks complex as a whole. To add insult to injury English Heritage is now refusing to open at weekends, thus making it impossible for any local residents who work office hours to visit their own museums. Well done, esteemed custodians of our cultural patrimony. As a very small compensation the barracks were open free to all over the weekend in September when the Heritage Open Doors event is held. I took these photos then, because I refuse as a matter of principle to pay a penny to English Heritage.
Some Scots believe that if Scottish independence becomes a reality the Westminster government will declare zones of English sovereignty around the nuclear submarine bases in their country. In that case they'll need somewhere on English territory to lock up stray Scots who wander into the exclusion zone. In all seriousness, if the political row over military bases continues down its present course things could turn very nasty. In that case we could see Berwick barracks being used once more for their original purpose, housing English soldiers in a location where they can advance across the border at a moment's notice. Never mind being under-used, they'll probably have to build an extension.