TQ7178 : Ruins of the explosives works, near Lower Hope Point (1)

taken 11 years ago, 3 km from Cliffe, Medway, Great Britain

Ruins of the explosives works, near Lower Hope Point (1)
Ruins of the explosives works, near Lower Hope Point (1)
Scattered over a wide area in these remote marshes, by the Thames, there are dozens of intriguing ruins. They occupy much of grid-square TQ7278 but also marshes in the squares to the north and west. I have heard the complex referred to locally as 'the gunpowder works', or 'the cordite factory'.

The structure shown here is cylindrical, with inner and outer 'skins' of brick, the whole encased in an earthwork. My guess is that it served as a gunpowder magazine. The style of brickwork would suggest a date in the mid-19th century. There are a number of similar ruins near the derelict buildings known as 'The Poplars', seen in Link. Further east - in TQ7278 - the ruins are of re-inforced concrete, rectangular in plan, and more shed-like.

My guess - for the moment - is that explosives (brought in by ship) were stored here from some date in the early or mid-19th century, and that manufacturing came later. It is said that the site is mentioned in the 1901 census as 'Lower Hope Point Powder Works'. The firm Curtis & Harvey is said to have ceased operations on the site circa 1921. To me, the re-inforced concrete remains (in TQ7278) look rather more recent than that - some, perhaps, of World War 2 origin.

This sequence continues with TQ7278 : Ruins of the explosives works, near Lower Hope Point (2)
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TQ7178, 88 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Sunday, 2 January, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 20 January, 2011
Category
Industrial archaeology site   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 719 786 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:28.8138N 0:28.4649E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 719 786
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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