The Three-Chamber Magazine in Unit 2 (Edingham) :
This unique and unusual structure does not resemble other designs either of air-raid shelter or magazine, but it
is a semi-sunk structure, mounded over and with two sealed (bricked up) entries. Examination of the entries (one collapsed)
revealed that the Narrow Gauge bogie railway looped through the building, which could be accessed from either end.
The most unusual feature is three heavy metal grilles on the southwest long side covering brick-built vents or windows
with good views into the three chambers that give the structure its survey title. The floors visible through the gratings
are of acid-resistant gritless asphalt covered in about 100 mm.or dried and fissured slurry. There is a vent in the
roof of each chamber, the middle chamber having a pile of old shotgun cartridges under its vent. An old armoured slurry hose
lay on the top of the magazine.
Matthew Taylor told the writer on a site visit on 21st May 2006 that the structure had been walled up to serve as a tank for
human slurry from the Dalbeattie sewage farm, proving itself a leakproof container, the slurry later being used as a land
fertiliser. The grilles were installed as a replacement for vandalised reinforced glass windows, to prevent local teenagers
getting inside. However, the 3-chamber Magazine is no longer used to store slurry and has served as a dump for used shotgun
Location and Nearest Processes :
The nearest structures to the entrance are :-
Careful examination of the landscape near the Cordite Paste Rolling House in Unit 1 has not revealed a comparable structure
to this 'Three Chamber Magazine', so this Magazine has to be considered unique.
The Function of the Three Chamber Magazine :
The nature of the floors and the 'straight through' access suggests a temporary store (an Expense Magazine ?) for an
explosive or inflammable substance which cannot be moved rapidly to a magazine elsewhere. The structure most closely resembles
the known 1-chamber mounded magazines south of the railway line, with its roof-vents above each chamber.
David Ferguson's statement that the Black Powder works was northeast of the Unit 2 station area came as a complete surprise
to the writer, although it made sense of a conversion of SSC buildings from Blending and Packing Houses to process and
storage of part-finished powders from M/S Factory Carsegowan.
The Three-Chamber Magazine fits into the scheme of a Black Powder works as an Expense or Test Sample Magazine, as is shown
by the orientation of the traverses that supported the Narrow Gauge bogie railway. These traverses proved on the maps to run
into the bogie network feeding the Short Single Chamber buildings group, at least eight of which may have been involved in
Black Powder manufacture.
Considering its position, the Three-Chamber Magazine is convenient for placing samples of powder from each batch being
packed in the neighbouring Embanked Process House (EPH). Its glazed reinforced windows and safety lights then make good
sense, although it is less clear how the samples were transferred to the laboratory.
No easy answers, only theories, but the writer feels that he was right to follow the Black Powder trail. Visitors are
invited to forward their comments to email@example.com, preferably with contact information such as name and phone to encourage