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BERRY WIGGINS OIL REFINERY

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Berry Wiggins oil refinery is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1952. This refinery was constructed in 1931 and was the first oil refinery to be built on the Hoo peninsula. It reused a number of buildings that were formerly part of RNAS Kingsnorth (see NMR 1458978) including the jetty via which the crude oil was delivered. This was superseded by Bees Ness Jetty which was opened in 1937 and ran for over 2.5km over Stoke Saltings and Stoke Ooze to the deep channel of the Medway. A third jetty called Oakham Ness Jetty was constructed in 1964 to be jointly used with Kingsnorth power station. The 1952 photographs also show a pipeline running between the refinery and a small 19th century wharf on Damhead Creek. An aerial photograph taken in 1942 shows the oil storage tanks painted with a camouflage pattern. The Berry Wiggins refinery continued in use until at least 1978 but has since closed and the majority of the site has been demolished. A building through which pipes were directed from both the refinery and Bees Ness jetty can still be seen on aerial photographs taken 2007. Bees Ness jetty also survives although it is in a derelict state as does the later Oakham Ness jetty, presumably still in use by Kingsnorth power station. This site was mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.

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