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Historic England Research Records

Bp Kent Refinery

Hob Uid: 1545825
Location :
Medway
Isle of Grain
Grid Ref : TQ8702074860
Summary : A large post-Second World War oil refinery was situated on the Isle of Grain, Kent, constructed as part of the post-war expansion of the oil refinery industry in the United Kingdom. Work began on the site in 1950 for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company which became BP (British Petroleum) in 1954. The first oil was processed in 1953 and the refinery could initially process four and a half million tons of crude oil a year. Its capacity was subsequently increased and by 1971 it could process nearly 11 million tons. The refinery was a victim of the massive decline in the demand of oil products after 1973. It was closed in 1982 and the site demolished. Aerial photographs taken from 1950 onwards show the construction and development of the site. Aerial photographs taken in February 1953 show the temporary buildings erected at Wallend for the builders (see NMR 1545846). Air photos taken 1955 show abandoned groundwork on the south-eastern side of the site; this is recorded in NMR 1545814. The refinery occupied approximately 4sq km and most of it can be seen on air photos taken in 1955. It incorporated pre-existing oil tanks from the Medway Oil and Storage Company (NMR 1540706), the Admiralty oil fuel station (NMR 1540697) and the Second World War underground oil storage facility (NMR 1540715). The refinery was also photographed from the air in 1978, 4 years before it closed. As air photos taken in 2007 show, much of the grid pattern of the refinery can still be identified as well as the outline of oil tanks and in some cases the remains of the oil tanks themselves. This site was identified from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.
More information : A large post-Second World War oil refinery was situated on the Isle of Grain, Kent, constructed as part of the post-war expansion of the oil refinery industry in the United Kingdom. Work began on the site (centred on TQ 8702 7486) in 1950 for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company which became BP (British Petroleum) in 1954. The first oil was processed in 1953 and the refinery could initially process four and a half million tons of crude oil a year. Its capacity was subsequently increased and by 1971 it could process nearly 11 million tons. The refinery was a victim of the massive decline in the demand of oil products since 1973.It was closed in 1982 and the site demolished. Aerial photographs taken from 1950 onwards show the construction and development of the site. What appears to be pre-construction investigation of this site can be seen on aerial photographs taken in July 1950 which show at least three cranes with drilling equipment. Although photographs taken 1951 do not cover the entire site they do give an indication of the work then underway. Groundwork on South Level - on the western part of the site (centred on TQ 8659 7461) - included the filling-in of Well's Fleet, Littlechalk Fleet and most of Greatchalk Fleet and the construction of a new water channel to take cooling water (a bay on the south coast, centred on TQ 8653 7396, had been enclosed and converted in to a reservoir). To the north, centred on TQ 8706 7534, the ground had been laid out in a gird pattern ready for the crude oil distillation units and associated plant. Grain road was also redirected (the new road is centred on TQ 8691 7497). Aerial photographs taken in February 1953 show the temporary buildings erected at Wallend for the workers at the site (see NMR 1545846). Air photos taken 1955 show abandoned groundwork on the south-eastern side of the site, this is recorded in NMR 1545814. The refinery occupied approximately 4sq km and most of it can be seen on air photos taken in 1955. It incorporated pre-existing oil tanks from the Medway Oil and Storage Company (NMR 1540706), the Admiralty oil fuel station (NMR 1540697) and the Second World War underground oil storage facility (NMR 1540715). The refinery was also photographed from the air in 1978, 4 years before it closed. As air photos taken in 2007 show, much of the grid pattern of roads of the refinery can still be identified as well as the outline of oil tanks and in some cases the remains of the oil tanks themselves (TQ 8818 7581). This site was identified from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.(1-9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : A guide for visitors to BP's Kent oil refinery and tanker terminal, Isle of Grain
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR TQ8774/3 RAF 30108/26 30-JUL-1950
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 540/458 4098-4099 & 4237 17-APR-1951
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 82/713 566-567 6-FEB-1953
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 58/1779 296-297 6-JUN-1955
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Source Number : 6
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 58/1779 249-251 6-JUN-1955
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Source Number : 7
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : OS/78125 224-226; 260-263; 18-AUG-1978
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Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : OS/78123 69-71 17-AUG-1978
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Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 2-MAY-2007 ACCESSED 20-SEP-2011
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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 87 SE 198
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1540706
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1540715
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1540697
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1547291
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1547322
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1545814
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1545846
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
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