guardhouse n : a military facility that serves as the headquarters for military police and in which military prisoners can be detained
A guardhouse (also known as a watch house, guard building, guard booth, guard shack, security booth, security building, or sentry building) is a building used to house personnel and security equipment. Guardhouses have historically been dormitories for sentries or guards, and places where sentries not posted to sentry posts wait "on call". Some guardhouses also function as jails.
Modern guard housesIn 21st century commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental, or residential facilities, guardhouses are generally placed at the entrance as checkpoints for securing and monitoring personnel and traffic.
One of the general orders of a sentry in the United States Navy and Marine corps is to "Repeat all calls more distant from the guardhouse than my own." Guardhouses thus serve as central communications hubs for sentry posts, being where the Corporal of the Guard is stationed. When sentries are relieved by their replacements, the sentry stationed at the guardhouse, designated "No. 1", is conventionally relieved first.
Historical guard housesIn the Fortress of Louisbourg in the 18th century, guardhouses were where sentries were stationed to eat and sleep between periods of sentry duty at the 21 sentry posts around the town. The town had five guardhouses (the Dauphine Gate, the townside entrance to the King's Bastion, the Queen's Gate, the Maurepas Gate, and the Pièce de la Grave), and whilst not sleeping sentries would be "on call" from those guardhouses at need.
In the guardhouse at Fort Scott National Historic Site, typical funishings for guard quarters included benches, tables, shelves, a platform bed for the men resting between assignments, arm racks, a fireplace or stove, and leather buckets (used for firefighting — another duty of guards). Prison cells were unfurnished, containing simply a slop bucket and iron rings on walls for the attachment of shackles.
- — a description of the guardhouse at Colonial Williamsburg
- — a description of the guardhouse at Arsenal Technical High School, tracing its history from being a combined guardhouse and jail for the U.S. Army barracks through being a school "beanery" to its current function as a school security office
- — an archaeological report on the guardhouse at the Macquarie Street entrance of the Lancer Barracks in Parramatta, New South Wales
- — an extract from the Fort Concho Medical History Record of May 1871, describing in detail the now nonexistent guardhouse
guardhouse in Czech: Strážní domek
guardhouse in Hebrew: ביתן שמירה
guardhouse in Lithuanian: Sargybinė
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