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Historic England Research Records

Royal Naval Armament Depot Lodge Hill

Hob Uid: 1077634
Location :
Medway
Hoo St. Werburgh, High Halstow
Grid Ref : TQ7650373698
Summary : Royal Naval Armament Depot Lodge Hill. Construction of the principal elements of the site began after 1898 and was complete by the First World War. The depot occupied 125 hectares adjacent to the Chattenden Magazines (Monument 1481790). The large flat site allowed the designers of Lodge Hill to lay out a new plan of depot. The buildings, which were variants of the types established at Priddy's Hard and Bull Point, were arranged in sequence on either side of a railway line which formed the spine of the whole establishment. The first cordite cartridge stores were completed by 1899. Five cordite magazines, a dry guncotton magazine, a deposit magazine and two examining rooms were added in 1900-1903. A laboratory for filling cordite cartridges was established by 1906. Further magazines were added and the laboratory extended by 1912, so that the fully developed layout was established by the beginning of the First World War. The facility continued in use throughout the Second World War, during which time additional stores and support structures, including gun emplacements and air raid shelters, were added. The depot's central railway connected at its western end with the Chattenden and Upnor Railway and at its eastern end, via a standard gauge connection, to the main line at Sharnal Street. Details of the depot have been recorded from documentary sources, field investigation and aerial photographic survey. The site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.
More information : TQ 758 732. The Royal Naval Armament Depot at Lodge Hill Chattenden
near Upnor was established either in the late nineteenth century or
early twentieth century. Photographic evidence shows that during
the Great War it was developed as a Filling Factory for filling
explosives into various types of munitions. The photographs show
that the buildings were almost identical to those erected at the
Royal Naval Armament Depot at Priddy's Hard Portsmouth. During the
Second World War the storage capacity of the depot was extended by
the construction of temporary Nissen type huts. (1-2)

The Royal Naval Armament Depot Lodge Hill was constructed on a relatively flat plateau on top of Deangate Ridge, centred at TQ 7642 7368. The site is roughly oval in plan and is aligned south west to north east. It is 1741.75m long, from the west gate at TQ 7569 7333 to the east gate at TQ 7733 7391, and 745m wide. The area enclosed by the perimeter fence is approximately 125 hectares.

Aerial photographs taken in the 1940s show the Depot at its most developed state. In 1947 there were fourteen magazine buildings protected by rectangular traverses, a Laboratory comprising many small huts arranged on a grid pattern and served by an internal tramway, and many storage and support buildings. Details of the depot have been recorded from documentary sources, field investigation and aerial photographic survey. The site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.

Construction of the principal elements of the site began after 1898 and was complete by the First World War. The large flat site allowed the designers of Lodge Hill to lay out a new plan of depot. The buildings, which were variants of the types established at Priddy's Hard and Bull Point, were arranged in sequence on either side of a railway line which formed the spine of the whole establishment.

The earliest buildings were built on the western two thirds of the site. The first cordite cartridge stores were completed by 1899 (TQ 7573 7351, TQ 7582 7355, TQ 7590 7358). In 1900-1903, five cordite magazines (TQ 7605 7373, TQ 7638 7387, TQ 7655 7394, TQ 7589 7325, TQ 7607 7332) a dry guncotton magazine (TQ 7621 7379), a deposit magazine (TQ 7623 7339) and two examining rooms (TQ 7640 7346, TQ 7647 7349) were added. The magazines were all protected by substantial traverses.

Two further magazines were added to the north eastern part of the site (at TQ 7672 7400 and TQ 7689 7407) by 1906. At the same time, a laboratory for filling cordite cartridges was established at the centre of the enclosure (TQ 7662 7356).

Another magazine was built at the north eastern end of the site by 1909 (TQ 7635 7343) and further magazines were added by 1912 (TQ 7635 7343, TQ 7646 7344). The laboratory was also extended by 1912; aerial photographs taken in 1944 and 1947 show 45-50 small huts arranged on a grid pattern and served by an internal narrow gauge tramway.

The essential layout of the Lodge Hill Depot was established by the beginning of the First World War. The facility continued in use throughout the Second World War. Between the Wars, two large magazines without traverses were added (TQ 7705 7375, TQ 7716 7380). Additional traversed magazines just to the south of these large buildings (TQ 7721 7372, TQ 7724 7370) may also date to the inter-war period. Many support structures, including Nissen huts and similar temporary buildings, gun emplacements and air raid shelters, were added before or during the Second World War. A number of ponds, probably intended to provide an emergency water supply, have been recorded throughout the site: inside the west gate (TQ 7573 7330, TQ 7578 7330), among the northern range of magazines (TQ 7599 7357, TQ 7641 7380, TQ 7682 7388), positioned around the laboratory (TQ 7678 7361, TQ 7666 7342, TQ 7650 7361) and among the later stores and buildings at the eastern end of the site (TQ 7712 7372, TQ 7674 7372). These ponds seem to be associated with the Second World War phase of the site, as they do not appear on earlier plans of the depot.

A light railway or tramway formed the central spine of the site running from the west gate at TQ 7569 7333 to the east gate at TQ 7733 7391, with tracks leading off to serve each magazine and other part of the complex. The railway was connected at its western end to the Chattenden and Upnor Railway and at its eastern end, via a standard gauge connection, to the main line at Sharnal Street. (3-5)

A number of pillboxes within and around the edges of the Lodge Hill Depot, including some which date to the First World War and some which are experimental early Second World War types, have been recorded separately. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : 05-MAR-1997/RCHME: Dangerous Energy Project
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hampshire County Record Office PH66 RNAD Lodge Hill, Chattenden, Upnor
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Thematic survey of the ordnance yards and magazine depots: Summary Report, Thematic Listing Programme
Source details :
Page(s) : 49
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR US/7GR/LOC348 2064-5 27-MAY-1944
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF/CPE/UK/1923 4081-4 16-JAN-1947
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Cathy Stoertz/06-SEP-2011/English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 77 SE 286
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: DANGEROUS ENERGY PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1994-04-01
End Date : 1997-03-01
Associated Activities : Primary, LODGE HILL CAMP, CHATTENDEN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: HOO PENINSULA LANDSCAPE PROJECT NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2010-09-01
End Date : 2012-03-01
Associated Activities : Primary, LODGE HILL CAMP, CHATTENDEN
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31