The Devils Porridge Museum is situated 19
miles southeast of Dumfries, 4
miles northwest of Gretna, off the A75 road at the
village of Eastriggs.
The Devils Porridge Museum is open Monday –
Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM, also
with a cafe.
The museum is situated where one of the
largest munitions factories was located, about
7 miles long, producing vast amounts of
munitions during both world wars.
The area was mainly used for producing
cordite, like cotton wool mixed with
Nitroglycerin, a highly explosive liquid.
The cordite was used in large guns on ships
or land, that fired up to 16 inch shells,
weighing over a ton, up to 20 miles in
A shell would be inserted into the gun, then
a roll of cordite behind the shell. The cordite
was then exploded to propel the shell.
The mixing bowl right shows the size mixed
in each batch, as this was enough to blow a
huge crater in the ground, and kill everyone in
Women were used to mix the concoction by
hand so as to reduce the risk of
There were many small units spaced out over
the seven mile long site. This was so if one
exploded, it did not set off explosions in
The women were known to develop health
problems and were often seen loosing teeth, and
their hair would turn yellow.
One of the most touching photos in the
museum shows Second World War children arriving
off trains in the Gretna area, with luggage
tags showing who they were.
These children were moved out of cities into
the country to avoid becoming casualties of
German bombing raids on Scottish cities.
The children arrived only with small bags
and gas masks.
The museum gives information on the two
world wars and the worst train disaster ever
In 1915, five trains
collided at a signal box at Gretna Green,
including a troop train and an express, killing
over 200 people, mostly soldiers on route to
the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey.
The museum also gives information on the
towns that grew up overnight to house the
workers, working conditions, community spirit,
and women's football that became famous world