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This secluded 35 hectare site is at the bottom of the River Alyn valley in North Wales.

In 1939 the land was purchased by the Ministry of Supply and developed as a purpose built chemical weapons factory and storage facility.

Over 100 specialised buildings were constructed across the site, linked by an extensive rail network established around a spur off the Chester to Denbigh mainline. Other major landscaping undertaken at this time included the canalisation and culverting of the River Alyn, and the excavation of a complex of interlinked subterranean, rock-cut tunnels and caverns. During World War II the plant produced ordnance containing mustard gas, and was associated with the development of the Atom Bomb. In the immediate Post-War period the site was used to store German nerve gas, and it was not until the 1950s when Britain relinquished its chemical weapons (CW) capability that the site as a chemical storage facility was defunct. However, the site remains on the international Chemical Weapons List, and is still monitored as such.

From the mid-1960s the site was used by various governmental departments, its major function being a buffer storage depot to supply emergency rations and foodstuffs, and associated facilities such as mobile bakeries and canteens. In 1994 the site was closed, and a programme of demolition was undertaken. This involved the dropping of buildings onto their footprints, and the rubble being mounded over with topsoil. Several major structures, and many ancillary buildings, still survive across the site. It is now developed as a nature reserve, but still restricted access.


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All sorts of empty structures

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Remains of incoming 3 phase electric supply

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Relic of some safety equipment?

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Toxic burial pit,  not eating that fruit!

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To store the shells, local miners dug vast underground caverns with well sealed entrances!

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The other side of the door! a grid of passages

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The grids led to sumps, from where the water was pumped into the river below.

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A sump, less gratings, plus fencing by DEFRA

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A spring was hit in digging one passage, the water is just visible above the tank

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Buildings and mounded rubble all over the site

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Buildings stripped bare

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A relic of the past

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The rail platform for loading shells, several sections of track remain in places, embedded in concrete

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The platform and paths were asphalted, to reduce the chances of something going off if dropped!

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Nature is reclaiming its own!

Thanks for looking.

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