13 June 2010

Kinnerley: Ammo, Arbour & Argoed

The Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway ran through Kinnerley until 1960. This, and the balance between centrality and remoteness, lay behind selection, during WWII, of the area around the village for a secret ammunition dump. The Royal Engineers built over 200 stores, of brick with roofs formed of concrete sleepers atop concrete pillars, covered with soil and turfed to camouflage and protect them.

Each store was served by a siding, which ran right through its centre. Huge sliding doors would be opened, the ammunition wagons shunted inside, the doors closed, and the cargo unloaded into the bays either side of the track. Kinnerley was declassified only in the mid-1950s. The storage sheds are impossible to photograph internally without a number of flash slave units, but Kinnerley also boasts a most unusual arbour in its playground, hexagonal in plan, oak uprights supporting a tiled roof, the whole supported on huge slabs of limestone on edge; and the remains of Argoed Hall, just outside the village.

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