Fuel Depot

Interesting location; On a baking hot day there nothing better than being able to running an underground bunker and with the weather of later it certainly was welcome! Mention to me by a friend i headed down check the place out.

Normally when I go and see somewhere it’s my research rather than someone else’s so it was interesting trying to work out its purpose and origins whilst standing in for once! I had gathered by the crude designed bunkers and surface buildings that it was probably constructed in the 40’s, But there was an element of it looking civilian also! Either way it’s clearly been mothballed a long time.


As part of the planning and preparations for World War II, the Air Ministry realised that the ability to distribute aviation fuel to the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s aircraft and petrol to its ground support vehicles was essential to sustaining any battle, in which superiority would be gained mainly in the air. In 1936, however, the RAF only possessed fuel reserves of 8,000 tons. These were at the time estimated to be enough for 10 days of war but in reality would have only represented one day of peak wartime usage.

Authorisation was given to build a series of fuel storage depots with semi-buried tanks in them that would be protected against aerial attack. Initially in 1936 the figure was set at 90,000 tons but this had been increased to 800,000 tons by 1938. By the start of World War II in 1939, a number of these new protected storage depots were already operational. However, no pipelines were constructed until after the war started, with the first being built in 1941.

The site was used for agriculture until it was developed circa 1940 with the construction of a purpose built facility for the bulk storage of petroleum hydrocarbons. The site was operated by Shell Mex on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) until 1970. Since 1970, the site has been operated by Transco Ltd for the MOD until the decommissioning of the site circa 1990. No military occupation or use of the site has been identified, except for fuel storage.

Its unclear what is going to happen to this site as due its location I suspect nothing!

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