First World War National Factories

BookFirst World War National Factories

First World War National Factories

An Archaeological, Architectural and Historical Review

Research Reports


December 15th, 2015





The First World War National Factories were under the direct control of the Ministry of Munitions producing vital war material, everything from wooden boxes, respirators, shells, and explosives to optical glass and vehicle radiators. Many were adapted from existing works, while others were located in specially designed factories. Some were finished to high architectural standards and followed the latest thinking in factory design and the provision of welfare facilities. In some instances associated housing was included. The report discusses the historic context of the National Factories, the types of factories created, their layouts and architectural form. It also explores their social history, including evidence for the organisation of work, welfare provision and, briefly, associated housing. It documents each factory and includes short desk-based assessments of the extant factories, which may be used to recommend better levels of protection, raise public awareness, enhance management information, and identify any significant and undesignated sites as well as knowledge and protection gaps.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
1. Introduction 2. Historical context to the establishment of the National Factories 3. Factory design and building types 4.1 Royal Ordnance Factories (ROF) 4.2 HM Explosives Factories (HMEF) 4.3 National Shell and National Projectile Factories (NSF and NPF) 4.4 National Filling Factories (NFF) 4.5 Government Factories for Cartridges and Small Arms Ammunition 4.6 National Factories for Aircraft Production 4.7 Chemical and Anti-Gas Factories 4.8 Miscellaneous National Factories 5. Site Survival 6. Bibliography Appendix A – List of National Factories Appendix B – Desk-Based Assessments of Surviving Factories