Designating Eastriggs, a First World War cordite factory near Annan, Dumfries & Galloway

Closes 3 Nov 2022

Opened 22 Sep 2022

Results expected 7 Nov 2022

Feedback expected 21 Nov 2022

Overview

We are proposing to designate parts of the Eastriggs First World War cordite factory as a scheduled monument and as a listed building. These make a significant contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the war effort during the First World War, specifically as a nationally significant munitions factory that produced the propellant cordite in vast quantities.

We have launched this public consultation to gather views on our proposal to schedule and list parts of this important site.  Our two Reports of Handling (the scheduled monument proposal and the listed building proposal) explain why we think parts of the Eastriggs site meets the criteria for heritage designation.    

The Eastriggs site was part of a huge factory complex known as His Majesty’s Factory (HMF) Gretna built in 1916/17. In its day, Gretna was known as 'the largest factory in the Empire'. It was built to address a huge demand for munitions and it contributed to the United Kingdom and its allies’ success in the outcome of The Great War.

The First World War site at Eastriggs used to contain over 300 separate factory, laboratory, storage and administrative buildings. It survives today as a very large area comprising archaeological features (such as the footings of buildings and structural components of this giant chemistry set); the earthwork remains of protective earth bunds and in the surviving buildings. 

Map of H.M.F. Gretna factory complex, showing storage areas, production components and administrative, welfare and transportation areas. Various building are highlighted.An early site plan of the factory complex showing storage areas, production components and administrative, welfare and transportation areas (plan courtesy of The National Archives. Open Government Licence). 

An industrial building under construction, with only metal frame erected. Bricks are stacked in neat piles, and a small rail cart sits empty on a track.

One of over 300 buildings being erected at Eastriggs in 1916 (image courtesy of The National Archives. Open Government Licence).

Eastriggs had a very specific purpose – to produce 'Devil’s Porridge', the name given to a form of explosive known as cordite which is used as a propellent in small and large calibre munitions.    

A large mound in a grassy field with an entrance on the right side. It is a sunny day with long white clouds in the sky.One of 48 surviving earthwork bunds used to produce and store Nitroglycerine. A Nissen hut from World War Two can be seen within the earthwork (Copyright Historic Environment Scotland). 

You can find out more about the site and the tens of thousands of workers who came here from across the Commonwealth by visiting the local Devil’s Porridge museum at Eastriggs, Dumfries and Galloway (Home - Devils Porridge Museum).

Why your views matter

You can read the heritage designation proposals by following the links below. We encourage members of the public to send in their views and comments. You can do this by completing the short questionnaire below and/or email your comments about this case. You can also contact us via the Heritage Portal which contains copies of the proposals (the scheduled monument proposal and the listed building proposal).      

This questionnaire usually takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Find out what comments we consider and what happens next in our guide or the video below.

 

 

You can find out more about listed buildings and scheduled monuments in the Advice and Support section of the Historic Environment Scotland website, and read our heritage designation selection guidance.

Tell us your views and record your comments