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Report - Ammonia Soda Works, Plumley

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by 350cewild, May 11, 2016.

  1. 350cewild

    350cewild 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    HI Everyone,

    I think this maybe the first time this has been posted on here, unless its by a different name.

    The history

    Hidden away in the Plumley Nature Reserve on Ascol Drive, Plumley, lies a long-forgotten piece of Northwich’s industrial history. Scattered amongst the trees and foliage are a series of unusual concrete structures alongside a solitary brick warehouse building. This is the remains of the Ammonia Soda Works, run by the Ammonia Soda Co Ltd.

    In 1907, brine was discovered on the Holford Hall Estate, near Plumley. Subsequently, the Ammonia Soda Company purchased nearby land for the erection of an ammonia soda works. The company made three borings, the deepest reaching a depth of 2,509 feet.

    The Ammonia Soda Works was constructed in 1908 to the north of the Mid-Cheshire railway line. In 1916, during World War I, the works were taken over by Brunner Mond who, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, began producing ammonium nitrate for use in munitions. The large brick warehouse that still stands today was used to house stockpiles of munitions which were then transported via the connecting trunk lines onto the Mid-Cheshire railway. Shortly after World War I, production was moved the Victoria Works in Northwich, a newer and much larger production site. After World War I, much of the original soda works was demolished, with the exception of the large brick warehouse which continued to be used the nearby Octel company to store sodium drums. With the demise of the Octel company in the 1970s, the large brick warehouse was left abandoned with the rest of the site.

    The large brick warehouse was clearly built to withstand considerable forces as its exterior walls are reinforced with a series of brick buttresses. This is likely to have been in response to the type of materials stored within the facility.

    Within the brick warehouse there is a raised platform and series of bricked-up sliding doors. A trunk line once ran down the outer edge of the brick warehouse and it is likely that the sliding doors were used as a means of loading goods onto rolling stock for transportation elsewhere.

    Much of the original soda works buildings have been demolished – what remains are the tunnel-like footings of larger structures. Dotted around the site, these tunnel-like structures are likely to have supported larger buildings that were once used by the company. Such structures are likely to have been made of steel and iron, which is perhaps why they are absent from the present day site. In addition to this, there are a number of concrete structures that would have once carried overhead piping used as part of the brine pumping process.

    The Visit

    I loved this place, the warehouse is now in the middle of a heavy wooded nature reserve so it made it a beautiful place to visit. We went in full military under style but its not necessary. Its a little gem as it seems to be not well known about plus many people flock to the nearby Winnington work or Lostock power station.
    Fun place to visit trying to find all the old structure. There are on sight air raid shelters that have been sealed up but just couldn't find these.
    Thanks for looking.[​IMG]

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  2. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
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    The arches look quite photogenic :thumb
     
    350cewild likes this.
  3. 350cewild

    350cewild 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    They really are!
     
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