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RAF CHILMARK

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RAF Chilmark, also known as No 11 Maintenance Unit, was an armament depot opened in 1937. It closed as a depot in 1994, with further disposal of much of the ordnance undertaken until 1997. It is situated at Chilmark Quarry, which has been a stone quarry since the 9th century - part of the stone quarry to the north continues in separate civilian ownership (see record 1466497). The armaments depot comprised both underground storage and dispersed surface stores, some linked by a narrow gauge railway. During the Second World War armaments stored here included chemical weapons. By 1965 it was the Royal Air Force's only ammunition supply depot. From the 1960s the depot also handled packed petroleum, oil and lubricants. Some of the buildings and structures still extant when visited in March 2011 included the rail terminus to the south; a gunpost in the eastern entrance area, a gas decontamination building, ablution block and police/guard house; a further guard house, magazines and pyrotechnic stores in the main magazine complex. There is also a former burning ground separated from the main magazine; and separate munitions stores at Moses Wood. Remediation work after closure of the depot included sealing or filling of some of the subterranean storage elements and shelters. Part of the site is managed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and it lies within the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site continues to be owned by the Ministry of Defence but is understood to be considered for disposal at the time of recording in 2011.

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