Bramley Ordnance Depot[edit | edit source]
Bramley Ordnance Depot, later known as Bramley Central Ammunition Depot, opened on the large areas of scrub land in north Hampshire, during World War I for the manufacture and storage of ammunition. To enable both safe manufacture and storage of munitions, well spaced railway tracks were built both sides of the Great Western Railway line connecting Basingstoke and Reading. The tracks were connected with each other at their northern and southern ends, and the tracks on either side of the running line were connected with each other by means of two tunnels under the GWR running lines. The tracks in the depot served various factories and stores, and the scale of the depot can be gauged that in a site measuring only 1.25 miles (2.01 km) from north to south, there were over 30 miles (48 km) of track: enough to cover the distance from Basingstoke to Reading and back.
A spur northwards from the military yard reached the south side of Bramley station, which allowed through running services for depot workers. These started in 1922, but suspended during World War II, and restarted after the war using stock from London Transport's Piccadilly line. The passenger services ceased in 1970, railway services to the depot ceased completely on 1 March 1987 with a special for rail enthusiasts.
The Central Ammunition Depot was served by the Garrison Church of St. Barbara (known locally as St. Barbara's Chapel). The register of baptisms (1956 to 1975) is now held by the National Archives, Kew. The stained glass window from St. Barbara's Chapel was removed to Bramley Church when the chapel was de-consecrated.
Following closure of the ammunitions depot, the facility was renamed Bramley Camp. Sub divided into three areas as training facility. Area A is the smallest, where parts of the ITV1 series Midsomer Murders has been filmed. In Area B, located near to the camp's main base, there is the shell of a Wessex helicopter, adjacent to this there is a respirator test chamber. In Area C the Channel 4 television series Scrapheap Challenge was filmed, but this has now been removed and the site is undergoing soil treatment.
References[edit | edit source]
- BRH: Ordnance Survey
- "Register of Baptisms, Garrison Church of St Barbara, Bramley Central Ammunition Depot (CAD), Hampshire". http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=8574787&CATLN=6&accessmethod=5. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
- "National Archives - Photographs held by the Royal Logistic Corps Museum". c. 1980. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=1820-rao&cid=79-1#79-1. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
[edit | edit source]
- Berkshire Army Cadet Force Website
- Scrapheap Challenge 2007 Channel 4 Microsite
- MOD Film location website - Bramley buildings
- MOD Film location website - Bramley training area
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