Collections blog

Planning Maps for HM Factory Gretna

By March 4, 2020April 13th, 2022No Comments

A local gentleman visited the Museum the other day to share some wonderful items with us. He has a map of the local area (stretching from Dornock to Longtown). It appears to be an ordnance survey map from 1898 and on it someone has drawn plans for HM Factory Gretna (the greatest munitions factory on earth during World War One, The Devils Porridge tells it story and the story of the 30,000 workers, 12,000 of whom were women). You can clearly see the Factory sites 1-4 labelled on the map and contours have been drawn on the main intended Factory locations as an aid for planning. Two townships were built for the Factory (Gretna and Eastriggs) and neither appears on the map – there are just open fields and farms – as they weren’t constructed until after 1915. It is quite strange to see a map without these two significant local towns on it.  The map also shows plans for a temporary pumping station and the pipelines that would be built for the movement of millions of gallons of water used by the Factory each day. Fascinating stuff and amazing to see a glimpse into the planning of the construction of the Factory.

Our visitor also brought in an auction catalogue from 1924. At the end of the war, the Factory plant, site and the houses in the townships were auctioned off and this catalogue was produced (we have one on display in the Museum). What was particularly interesting about this gentleman’s copy of the Auction Book was that it had all five maps inside it (and they were in excellent condition). We have some of the maps but not all of them so it was really interesting to see all the maps together.

We are very grateful to this gentleman for sharing these documents with us and for letting us take photographs of the items in question for our records.

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