View Full Version : Kinnerley Ammunition Depots
Does anyone have any information on what sort of ordnance was stored at Kinnerley to the west of Shrewsbury?
Here's a quick GE trace showing the 80+ miles of railtrack laid and operated by the Royal Engineers to serve the multiple storage areas:
Some gen on the rolling stock and history HERE (http://www.hfstephens-museum.org.uk/smlr/the-smr-in-world-war-ii.html).
All the best,
I suspect it was all part of CAD Nesscliff
Also post #5 in:
I know I'd seen that map before but couldn't remember where.
All the best,
I sent a link to this thread to a friend who is a railway AND aviation enthusiast. He comments:
The railway in question is far more complicated than the question suggests.
It is the former Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway a flea bitten
joint if ever there was one. It started off as the ambitious The
Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railway from about 1866, hence its
nickname, The Potts. It became a "light" railway in 1911 to allow it to
operate under the less onerous provisions of the Light Railway Act. It
only ran as a route between Shrewsbury (The Abbey station) and Llanymynech
with a branch to Criggion.
It was on its last legs before the start of WWII but was taken over by the
War Office in 1941 to serve dispersed ammo dumps and given a general
uplift to allow it to continue to operate.
there is a new book on the subject - An Illustrated History of the
Shropshire and Montgomery Light Railway by Peter Johnson published by OPC,
an imprint of Ian Allan. Under its proper title there will be one or more
websites on the subject.
A quick glance through the WWII years does not answer the question as to
type of ammo stored but refers to 50,000 tons of explosives in storage.
It became known as a Central Armaments Depot at Nesscliffe at some stage.
The War Dept locos were operated by the Royal Engineers and one or more
still exist as preserved items.
The network closed in 1960 although the terminus in Shrewsbury by the
Abbey was worked by British Rail into the 1980s before being redeveloped.
Part of the site is now revived as a museum to an unusual line beloved of
The area around Nesscliffe is still an active military area.
Although my primary interest is RAF munitions storage I gather info on Army and Navy sites as I come across them and Nescliff is one of them. Being Army (War Department) is would have stored all the expected ammunition especially artillery shell. The site was made up of four sub-sites Kinnerley, Pentre, Ford and Argoed.
There was also a sub-site at Loton Park used for the storage of CW shell in a mass of Romney huts:
I was aware there was a CW store as part of the depot but didn't know where.
I've added it to the GE file:
Argoed Sub-Depot: yellow
Kinnerley Sub-Depot: red
Pentre Sub-Depot: blue
Ford Sub-Depot: green
Loton Park Sub-Depot: purple
All the best,
All you have to do now is decide if it 'Nesscliff' or 'Nescliffe'. A 1946 introductory booklet issued to new staff by the CO uses the former spelling whereas latterday maps use Nescliife. For me it's NESCLIFF.
Yet another annoyance, like Churchstanton / Church Stanton, Spittlegate / Spitalgate.
It seems that most use Nesscliffe, whereas the Army / MoD dropped the 'e'. There are a few businesses in the area also with the shorter spelling.
Trying to get to the bottom this using an 'advanced' Google search failed. I suspect there are many instances of people inadvertently adding or dropping the 'e' when refering to the area or the establishment.
According to the US CWS Official History chemical sections were activated in general depots at Barry, Westbury, Histon and Hilsea. Chemical ammunition depots were set up at Shepton Mallet and Loton Deer Park in November 1943.
The largest SOS CWS ammunition storage facility, that at
Loton Deer Park, was designed primarily for incendiary storage, secondarily
for toxic storage, mostly of air force munitions
Thanks for that snippet Colin. It lends credence to my suspicion that the major Army munitions storage areas were used also for the storage of air dropped stores.
Period photograph of the U.S. managed chemical weapons store
at Loton Park Shropshire.
Used to store Incediary and chemical ammunition.
Thanks Colin, that shows the lie of the land and some store sheds. Looks like the view is to the SW ish.
I suspect from the unit history that the main use of the site would have been incediary bomb components, smoke mortar rounds & generators and flame throwers. No real evidence of large stocks of war gasses but may have stocked delivery systems (sprays)
There does not seem to be any rail connections so transport would have been on Shropshires narrow roads.
The unit history is here
( Long document)
Picture came from this source which just shows what the tinterweb can do!
An interesting and informative document particularly in your line of research Colin. When I tried to download it I found that I already had it from last year saved but never opened (forgotten!) Something I do a lot!
I have a question of a different kind. I am doing some research into the village of Alberbury, where Loton Deer Park is situated. I need to know when military use stopped and which branch of the military was using it in 1952.
Any help anyone can give me would be gratefully received.
Here is part of the Kinnerley Ammunition depot shown from the air C/O Britain from above, still showing the railway tracks to the sheds and still connected to the former S&M Shropshire & Montgomery railway.
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