Interpretation of Buildings and Functions :
Key Points :-
- Unit 1 (Southwick) and Unit 2 (Edingham) constructed with identical processes and capacities for Cordite production.
- Black Powder (Gunpowder) Finishing Works : Polishing, grading, drying and packing of
- Magazine Section and Cordite Loading Station : Finished product storage and special loading
- Central Services Section : Raw materials stores (acids, acetone, glycerine, others), labs,
canteens, offices, other support facilities.
- Main Line Railways and Stations : Southwick and Edingham Goods Yards, Southwick Halt and
Dalbeattie Station. Details in Central Services Section.
- Site Bogie Railways and Trolley Runways : Narrow Gauge bogie railway system and the Nitroglycerine
section Trolley Runways.
- Defences and Security : Fences, gatehouses, search rooms, pillboxes, Home Guard, air raid
- Water Supplies : Water supplies, reservoirs, drainage systems, pump houses.
- Sewage Farms and Disposal Systems : Sewage farms, bucket toilets, burning station.
Notes on Identification of Buildings and their Functions :
This page is the index to the structures of the Ministry of Supply Factory Dalbeattie. It does not as yet have a map, but
the links on this page go to sub-indexes for the groups of structures, identified and otherwise. The majority of structures
have a logical identification, some are more definite, but others are 'best guess' probales, based upon the slender
From discussions with surviving staff and advice from informed enthusiasts at other sites, a number of structures were
easily identified. The rest are being identified as information is gained. It seemed most sensible to classify the
structures from the maps as shapes and clusters, then to look at the structures individually. This was broadly successful
in distinguishing between major differences. Onsite surveys of the details presented many questions, as well as confirming
major but unavoidable destruction of most of Unit 2 for farming purposes. Sadly, one complete class and cluster of
structures has been completely destroyed, leaving few physical clues as to their purpose. The remaining structures are most fully
represented in Unit 1 (Southwick) but Unit 2 (Edingham) is still important for details are most easily seen there.
The site can be understood in general terms, but the details are still a headache. Matching the Processes to the surveyed
structures proved the greatest challenge of all.
To summarise the main problems :-
- Site railways (2'6" gauge) and pipe runs are still being surveyed.
- The floor detail of most buildings in Unit 2 and some in Unit 1 is hidden by up to 150 mm of cattle dung.
- A complete map of the two Units does not yet exist east of NGR Easting NX2850. This will entail a mapping survey.
- Only a handful of site workers remain alive and most will be gone within a few years.
- Police and Army exercises pose a serious risk to structural detail and graffiti.
On a positive note, the landowner Matthew Taylor is very supportive of this survey and site. It is hoped that it will give
him some form of return for site visits and maybe profit from a visitor facility.