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KINGSNORTH AIRSHIP STATION

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The site of the First World War RNAS Kingsnorth. The station was built in 1914 to carry out patrols and was further expanded into an airship developmental and construction site after airship construction ceased at the Farnborough works in 1915. The base closed in 1920 and was decommissioned in 1921 though remains of this site can be seen on aerial photographs taken in 1952. The base comprised of the main airship hangars, smaller buildings including those for accommodation and a hydrogen production plant. RNAS Kingsnorth was connected to the branch line by a light railway and the Medway via a jetty. At the beginning of the First World War the airships Astra Torres and Perseval were based there from where they carried out anti-submarine patrols over the river Thames and the English Channel. Various non-rigid airship types were developed at the base including the "SS" Submarine Scout and the "C" Coastal types. The base was listed as being authorised for heavy anti aircraft armament of unspecified calibre in 1916, although this may not have been provided. After the station closed the hangars were used as a wood pulping factory (see NMR 1537949) while some of the buildings to the north and the jetty became part of the Berry Wiggins oil refinery (see NMR 1537943). Almost the whole of this site has since been built over by the Kingsnorth power stations and nearby works. One RNAS building (possibly a barrack building) may survive; it was still visible on an aerial photograph taken in 2007. This site was mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.

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