Report - - ROF Featherstone - Dec 2013 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - ROF Featherstone - Dec 2013


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Decided to venture out on a cold December morning and drive over to ROF Featherstone to have a look around. Wasn't expecting a great deal, as I realise it's been derelict for quite a while.

After getting a little frustrated at the Sat Nav constantly wanting to take us onto the M6 toll we eventually arrived and took a drive around the site. It still covers a pretty large area, with a large prison overlooking some of the back area. So we parked up and made our way in. As usual, moving slowly through the buildings taking hundred's of pics meant we didn't get to the see the whole site, so I'll have to pay a return visit to make sure I didn't miss any gems. Also, getting to the end of the day and realising I'd been shooting at ISO800 for the whole day did lead to a scream I swore could have been heard throughout the site (pics didn't come out too bad, considering).

A little history on the site:

During the Second World War Featherstone did its bit for the War Effort by providing the site for the Royal Ordnance Filling Factory No.17, covering just over 64 hectares, the factory used to specialise in filling various munitions, including, Bombs, Shells, Screening Smoke and Cartridges.

A Filling Factory was a munitions factory which specialised in filling various munitions. In the UK, in World War I, such a factory belonging to the Ministry of Munitions was known as a National Filling Factory. In the UK, in World War II, such a factory belonging to the Ministry of Supply was known as a Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF).

Filling factories had a large number of buildings, and buildings were needed on the various Groups for filling of munitions. Explosives magazines were required by each Group to store the incoming explosive materials and to store the outgoing filled shells or gun cartridges, usually packed in ammunition boxes. Storage buildings were also needed on each Group to store the incoming empty shells, or cartridges, and the empty ammunition boxes. For safety purposes, munitions were segregated into different compatibility Groups. A World War II Filling Factory would generally fill several different Groups of Munitions; and these Groups would be located in different geographical areas within the Danger Area of the Filling Factory.

The World War II Groups were:
Group 1: Initiators, such as caps and detonators for primers and fuses.
Group 2: Fuse pellets, exploder pellets, exploder bags.
Group 3: Filling of fuses.
Group 4: Blending of gunpowders for time fuses.
Group 5: Filling of cartridges, such as filling cordite into cloth bags or into brass cartridge cases.
Group 6: Manufacture of smoke producing compositions.
Group 7: Small arms filling.
Group 8: Filling of shells or bombs.
Group 9: Large magazines, filled ammunition awaiting dispatch.

In addition, a Filling Factory would have provision for limited proofing and testing of its munitions; and burning grounds for disposal of waste explosive material. Outside of this Danger Area, but still within the factory site, would be located: administration offices; pay offices; workshops; a medical centre; changing rooms; contraband storage (for items prohibited in the Danger Areas, eg matches, tobacco, etc); search rooms; canteens (as many as 40 in some of the large factories).

Royal Ordnance Filling Factory No.17 served a major role in WW2 but since then has remained derelict, at some point BAE Systems took over the site and kept the majority of the buildings but sold off 13 hectares to HMP Service who have now constructed H.M.P. Featherstone on the remains of certain parts of the site. This war production factory was in production during the period 1940 to 1945 and many of its buildings remain standing in fair condition. At present the remaining site is up for disposal and planning permission has been sought to transform the site into a housing estate.At the time the application was made, there were 132 buildings/ structures, including earthworks, partially demolished structures and subterranean structures within a 25ha area of the site. They are mostly brick built with concrete slabs and dating from 1942 but there are also later buildings from 1950 and from 1965. The layout of the site was specifically designed for the manufacture and storage of munitions. The storage was mainly around the edge of the site and the manufacturing buildings were grouped together and integrated with the railway network. The buildings are a mix of single and two storey and include blast mounds measuring over 5m in height. There is a perimeter road, an internal road running north-south, paths and parking which together make up 26,320 sq m. A large part of the site is unmanaged and overgrown with flora established among the buildings and hard standing areas.
Onto the pics, will try and keep the number down a little:

Front of one of the outer buildings, facing onto the outer perimeter road.


Typical building throughout the whole site, loads of rooms like this.





Obligatory chair shot


Some nice graffiti throughout the site



View from the back of the site, near the prison. There are a lot of buildings outside this shot to both the left and right of this block.

We eventually left due to fading light, hunger and frozen fingers but could quite easily have spent another 4 hours here.

Edited to suit sensitive eyes

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