History and heritage

Steeped in history, the Arborfield Green site was originally used in 1904 as a Remount Depot in Arborfield Garrison, supplying the military with horses for operational use. Over 100,000 horses are said to have passed through the Depot, which remained open throughout the Second World War. After the eventual closure of the Depot, the Garrison became home to a number of army technical schools where approximately 50,000 trainees completed their apprenticeships.

Over a century since its inception, the Garrison is being lovingly regenerated into a new sustainable village, which will see the creation of up to 2,000 new homes, schools, shops and country parks.

Crest Nicholson has been leading the planning and delivery of Arborfield Green since it was appointed as Development Manager for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO – the estates arm of the Ministry of Defence) in 2013.

Wokingham Borough Council allocated the site as a Strategic Development Location within their adopted Core Strategy and in April 2015, the Council granted outline for up to 2,000 new homes. The outline plans also included a new primary school and a secondary school, along with a local centre and food store, cafe, community centre, healthcare facilities, and of course associated infrastructure and open space.

In 2016, the REME Garrison left for their new home at the former RAF Lyneham, marking an important milestone for both the Army and the redevelopment of the site as Crest Nicholson took on the management of the estate on behalf of the DIO.

Click on the arrows below to scroll through the timeline and see how Arborfield Garrison evolved to become Arborfield Green.

History and heritage timeline

  • Land in Arborfield acquired by the War Office for the Arborfield Remount Depot. Land was part of the Bearwood Estate, which was owned by the Walter Family of the Times Newspaper. Land is first rented from Walter family and then purchased.

  • Acreage increases beyond eastern boundary. Temporary stabling is constructed to accommodate more than 600 horses. Several thousand animals passed through the Depot during World War 1.

  • Land in Arborfield acquired by the War Office when the Arborfield Remount Depot closes. The site now covers 500 acres. In the years it was open, nearly 100,000 horses passed through the Depot. The Depot was one the largest employers in the local area.

  • Reopens as Arborfield Garrison

  • Army Technical School opens and Poperinghe Barracks is built to accommodate two Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiments of the Royal Artillery.

  • Garrison becomes home to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the British Army (REME).

  • Garrison serves as a medical centre and accommodation for troops before the Normandy landings and those off to service in northwest Europe. School renamed to Army Apprentice School.

  • The decision was taken to cease apprentice training at Arborfield. Over 50,000 men and women began their army careers as apprentice soldiers and tradesmen at Arborfield Garrison.

  • Wokingham Borough Council allocates Arborfield Garrison in its Local Plan.

  • Crest Nicholson appointed as Development Manager for the Defence Infrastructuree Organisation (DIO) the Army’s property and land arm.

  • Crest Nicholson receive outline planning consent to build 2000 new homes on the former Garrison site.

  • The first occupations of the new Garden Village took place in October.

  • The old infirmary stables are refurbished and made weather-proof.

10 facts

10 ways of preserving the history of Arborfield Green

  1. The Horse Infirmary Stables, a listed monument, will form the heart of the new community.
  2. Three life-size horse sculptures will be installed on site in 2019.
  3. The Moat House, the former Garrison HQ, will eventually be converted into offices.
  4. Our Nature Trail sculptures will be made from horseshoe, as a nod to the use of the site as a Remount Depot during World War One.
  5. Poperinghe Nursery was named in recognition of the previous Poperinghe Barracks where the REME were housed.
  6. The other nursery is called Hazebrouck in reference to the Hazebrouck Barracks where the REME School of Electronic and Aeronautical Engineering was based.
  7. The meadows were renamed from Hazebrook to Hazebrouck Meadows.
  8. The military families on site still have an active role in our Community Centre events and groups.
  9. The Aldershot Garrison and REME Association hold meetings and events at the Community Centre.
  10. The new primary school will be accessed from the newly named Hazebrouck Road.

Arborfield Green in numbers

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