ROF Bishopton Part III

Another batch of pictures from this massive explosives factory. The full history of Bishopton is covered in my previous report, and in much more detail in my book Explosive Scotland.

First up, the Factory I guncotton plant – These beaters were used to chop up the nitrocellulose slurry:

Next the vat houses, where the nitrocellulose was steeped:

This one cracked me up – the poster says, very faintly, “ROF Bishopton Fire Instructions”

Then the dipping tubs, where cotton fibres were soaked in acid:

More steeping:

Next pulping and blending:

Now onto the neighbouring nitrocellulose plant – nitrocellulose is very similar to guncotton, just made with paper cellulose instead of cotton cellulose.

Now onto nitroglycerine manufacture.

The most dangerous place in the factory – the nitroglycerine nitration building. These blew up without warning on several occasions.

Now the ball powder section.

Now the cordite presses:

Finally, the drum blenders…

All images:

4 Responses

    1. Interesting article – I had heard of Quintinshill, and of course the Gretna factory, but it’s amazing how much they’re disappeared from history.

  1. hi , great picture s take me back to my apprenticeship in the 80 s , sad decline of a great factory due to maggie selling everything off .

  2. I was inspired by your excellent ROF Bishopton images and have just made my first visit to the site. How times change; the new Dargavel village development has pincered a large part of the site from both north and south. There’s a new bridge over the railway line to afford access to the ‘south’ village too.
    On this first visit I only had time to investigate what appear to be storage bunkers in the No2 Factory site (35/001G and 35/001H). They are brilliantly reverberant but otherwise entirely unadorned.
    Many of the more interesting buildings appear to have vanished already (power station, cathedral etc) but there are some drum blender structures still visible from the new village road, as well as some mixing bunkers. The picrite, Acids I, much of the Gun Propellant, NCI, Demolition and Admin areas are all gone. Rocket Propellant still survives I think but not for very long.
    I’m more into B&W fine art photography than ‘pure’ urbex but these sites are perfect for the combination of the mundane and the very unusual. Here’s hoping I can secure more images before the army of heavy plant that’s in there finishes its work. It must be quite odd for the new residents looking out across the road to blast walls and reinforced bunkers.

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