Just west of RAF West Malling is a dispersed ammunition site dating from WW2. Still owned by the MOD, the forested site is a dry training area (ie; no live ammunition is fired, blank only) frequently used by Cadet and Army Reserve units. There is an active helipad on site, and while many of the original buildings have long gone, the layout of the site is still visible in the form of tracks, earth bunds and some other features I will explore below.
Mereworth Woods as photographed in 1946. Tracks and a few buildings and an EWS is visible, but the largest open feature on the right is the vehicle park. Copyright Google Maps 2017
Mereworth Wood front gates. A public entrance gate is to the left of the locked vehicle gates.
Two of the remaining Nissen Huts. While the corrugated covering has been replaced, the steel frame is original as are the gable walls. The seemingly random orientation was a tactic used during WW2 when constructing dispersed sites so as to make them more difficult to spot in enemy aerial reconnaissance photographs.
Electrical switch room.
Building used as a toilet block, but the possible blast wall (minus some earth packing) might suggest a different use in the past. Laboratory building for the inspection of ammunition perhaps.
Small single cubicle toilet block.
What is now the vehicle park hardstanding.
One of two emergency water supplies (EWS).
The second of two emergency water supplies (EWS).
Off the majority of the tracks are sidings for the storage of munitions. Many would have had earth bonding as protection, but no building as such. Others would have most likely been Nissen Huts, surrounded by the earth bund to mitigate sympathetic detonation of other stores in the event of one suffering damage.
I am not sure what the purpose of these steel uprights is, but they appear to be contemporary with the sites use as a munition storage site.
This is what I think is the most special remnant on site – Sommerfield Track. This trackway made up of steel rod lengths interlinked with wire mesh was used as a reinforcing method for trackways and runways – West Malling Airfield used this method of construction in its first two runways.
One of the many pieces of demolition rubble strewn across the site.
An unknown concrete base.
An anti-tank buoy.
One example of the concrete remains on site.