Single Chamber Magazines :
The magazines south of the dismantled railway line are the most durable and most easily understood structures in Ministry
of Supply Factory Dalbeattie. Heavily built to resist internal explosion and external air attack, they were initially used
to store cases of finished cordite, then from 1945 to 1960 they were used by the Royal Navy to store mines and other
reserve ammunition. Their entrances are often inaccessible due to erosion and flooding of the doorways, since they have been
used as cattle barns. Construction of the link road in the late 1980s from Edingham to the Aucheninnes tip demolished some
of the protective mounds, one magazine being completely exposed and lying at a rather odd angle.
The railway may have defined more than the northern boundary of the Magazine area, for the site has separate road and railway
access to that of the two cordite production Units. The writer has read that the Royal Ordnance Factory Bishopton was organised
similarly as two Units, the magazine and loading area being 'Unit Three'. Pending further evidence, the Magazine Section is at
least as distinct as the Nitration Hills and the Black Powder Finishing Works.
Typical Single Chamber Magazine Layout and Operation :
The sixteen identified single chamber magazines were either constructed in cuttings in the hillocks or constructed on flat
ground and then mounded over. Externally, they are visible by their security doors and earthenware 'chimney pot' ventilators,
usually with lamp standards and the galvanised frames of the all-weather rotary switches of the safety lights. Internally,
one goes past the security doors and a lobby, with inner flameproof doors, to an internal accessway between two raised dry
platforms. In the top of the surrounding walls are ventilator openings and safety light fittings.
As far as can be established from the information to hand, the cases of finished cordite were brought by unshod horse and
rubber tyred cart from the blending and packing rooms to the magazines, there unloaded and stored, possibly on wooden
racking or pallets (dunnage). When sufficient cordite had benn accumulated to fill a train, the cases were transported to
the Loading Station for loading and despatch to ICI Nobel Ardeer.
From 1945 to 1960, some buildings at the Factory were converted for storage of naval munitions by this Royal Navy
Armaments Depot Dalbeattie (RNAD Dalbeattie). There is a persistent local rumour that the magazines were used to store
naval mines, for which they would admittedly have been very suited. The mines and a quantity of other ammunition were
cleared out in 1960 and dumped at sea. Although they were apparently supposed to be dumped off Rockall, contractors
dumped them in the Beaufort Deep between the Mull Of Galloway and Northern Ireland, where they are a present hazard to