St Mary’s Marshes, Hoo St Mary, Medway, Kent: An Assessment of the Late 19th-Century Explosives Magazines

Author(s): Sarah Newsome, Rebecca Pullen

In 2012 English Heritage carried out research into the little understood explosives magazines located at St Mary’s Marshes on the Hoo Peninsula in Medway, Kent. The research was undertaken as part of the wider Hoo Peninsula Historic Landscape Project. Magazines were constructed on the marshes around 1892 by the Thames Storage (Explosives) Company for the packing, repacking and storage of explosives, as a commercial venture on land leased from the Dean and Chapter of Rochester Cathedral. Doubt remains over the original building materials: the surviving concrete buildings are possibly replacements for brick magazines. Documentary evidence suggests that the Thames Storage (Explosives) Company went into liquidation in 1907 but that the magazines possibly had a second life as a ‘Government magazine’, eventually going out of use in 1913, when the lease on the land also expired. Seven magazines survive in a ruinous state, some with protective earth bunds, and appear to be an unusual use of mass concrete in an explosives storage context.

Report Number:
Research Report
Building Recording Survey Analytical Landscape Survey


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