Explosive News for Northamptonshire
1816 Magazine Stores Sold at Former Royal Military Depot
White Commercial Surveyors have sold the 7.7 acre walled Magazine Stores Depot at Weedon, Northamptonshire. The site, originally part of the 150 acre Royal Military Depot in Weedon, was acquired by an Act of Parliament in 1803 and consists of a collection of specially designed brick buildings built in 1816 and used to store gunpowder and explosives, each divided from the next by brick buildings filled with earth. Over 1000 tonnes of gunpowder was stored in the Magazine at any one time.
Over its 200 year life, the Royal Military Depot performed a wide variety of military functions, until its closure in 1965.
- In 1815, one year before the depot was completed, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and the depot was responsible for the maintenance and storage of muskets, field ordinance and gunpowder.
- In 1831 the depot was extended and prepared for a garrison of 800 men and in 1855 much of the infantry stationed at the depot were sent to the Crimea Campaign (famous for the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’). The end of the Crimean War saw the return of large amounts of clothing and supplies, including uniforms and saddlery.
- The Magazines were extended to provide additional capacity in 1865 and the depot was re-classified as ‘A great reserve depot’ – the highest class of Magazine in the Country at the time.
- Following the invention of cordite in 1891 the storage of gunpowder in barrels became unnecessary but the depot still formed a major role in the receiving, processing and dispatching of arms and clothing following the 1899 to 1902 Boer War.
- The site was in continual use during World War I and in 1922, cavalry and artillery training establishments were created at the site.
- The onset of World War II saw the upgrading of the facilities at Weedon and was designated as an intermediate ammunition depot, supplying anti-aircraft ammunition to anti-aircraft guns in the area.
- The main access road to the site, Ordinance Road, was resurfaced in tarmac in 1940 to allow access by heavy trucks delivering the shells.
- Parts of the 150 acre site were sold off for residential accommodation following its closure in 1965.
A private individual has now purchased the Magazine Stores and will be looking to potentially re-develop the site, in keeping with the Grade II listed status of the buildings.
Chris White Managing Director of White Commercial, responsible for the sale on behalf of the vendor confirmed:
“This is a strategic acquisition of a fascinating and historically important site. The surrounding areas of Daventry and Northampton are currently subject to and undergoing significant residential and commercial expansion and the new Daventry link road at Weedon (currently under construction) will provide excellent access to Junction 16 of the M1.”
Incidentally Chris White is also a member of the FSG ‘Fortification Study Group https://fsgfort.com.