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