The area that now makes up the Rowditch was, for centuries, one of the main brick making centres in the town Despite this it did retain a rural feel until relatively recently - the picture below was apparently taken in 1955 and shows Rowditch farm, the brick works in the background and the encroaching housing developments which before too long would cover the whole area.
The collection of buildings in the following photos was the Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Barracks at the Rowditch near Uttoxeter Road. Designed by Edwin Thompson of Derby in 1859 it is today considered by English Heritage, who listed it Grade 2, to be “a very rare and well preserved example of a local volunteer barracks”. It appears to have only been in service until 1877 and since that time has been used as a tennis club as well as a store, houses and public toilets.
The low, single story construction in the picture below was the actual rifle range. It is glazed and supported by cast iron columns. The larger building was the barracks and is now used as a store and the one to the far right hand side was the officers quarters which now appears to be housing of some sort. The original wash houses and privies are still in existence at the rear.
Surrounded by a three metre high red brick wall the entrance is flanked by two single story buildings which were originally the guard house but are now toilets and changing rooms
The barrack block, now used for storage
One of the original guard houses
I have been unable to find much information about the Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers, however a wonderful description of a volunteer rifle corps in Manchester can be found at the following site The Development of the Rifle Volunteer Movement in Manchester
Tanglewood Mill, Coke Street