The Royal Ordnance Factory Bridgend-ROF 53

1936-1946

8 x.......

Located on the North side of Brackla Ridge, locally known as the "8 x's", the 7 massive underground magazine storage tunnels complete with platform were cut deep into Brackla Hill. Guarded by pill boxes overlooking the hill, they would protect the high explosives held within. The aerial image below gives the approximate position of the entrances to the chambers, numbers 3 and 4 later becoming the headquarters for the Welsh RGHQ in time of nuclear war. Today, numbers 1 and 2 have been filled in, only their vent shafts remaining and a little concrete, 3 and 4 being maintained to this day, numbers 5, 6 and 7 filled in, but with a lot of evidence still remaining. Later on during the war, and eighth tunnel was constructed from the Waterton site to the magazine complex, but the complex was not connected underground.

Each tunnel led into a huge chamber sub divided into 8 smaller magazines separated by a 10 ft wall. The chambers run into Brackla hill nearly 150ft, whilst each chamber is approx 120ft wide.

The Magazine Tunnels were started in 1938, each serviced by the network of tracks laid by the Great Western Railway.

Please scroll down and click on the thumbnails for larger images of the 8 x s during the 1990's, and 2005

Thanks to Mike for giving me this picture from the 1950's showing the layout of the rail system, bunkers and Coity site.

 

Plan Drawing of the Layout of Each Storage chamber. Not to Scale

 

Photographs of the Magazine Complex and Coity ROF taken in the 1970's. Thanks to Phil Davies of Bridgend
Pill Box 8 x 2 Platforms Platforms Boiler room Boiler room   Coity ROF
Nuclear Bunker Coity ROF Boiler room Coity ROF Nuclear Bunker 8 X

 

8 x 1 8 x 1 above 8 x 2 Vent for 8 x 2(12/12/05) Remaining concrete Vent for 8 x 2 8 x 1 Entrance 8 x 2
 
Entrances Ripped up track near 8 x 2 Venting 8 x 3 Pill box overlooking 8 x 6 Pill box overlooking 8 x 6 Track  to 8 x 3 & 4 Toward 8 x 3 Land fill  towards 8 x 5
Back towards junction Tracks running towards 8 x 4 Concrete posts carrying electrical wiring Main entrance road from RGHQ 8 x 4 8 x 4 8 x 3 8 x 3
These images show the remains of 8 x 7 to 8 x 5 in November 2005
Track feeding 8x2 Track feeding 8x2 Ripped up track near 8 x 2 8 x 7 8 x 6 The above picture was taken approx 5 yrs ago, showing feed track to 8x 1

 

Walking the track towards 8 x 2 (See aerial shot above) on 09th March 2008
Standing on top of 8 x 2 looking back the way I came.

All Images unless otherwise stated are the property of the author ©Richard Williams 2005-2008

Added Track feeding 8 x 2 July 2006

Added Track feeding 8x 1 November 2007

www.bracklaordnance.co.uk

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