The original zone. Scarcely have such nothing-y ruins evoked such sentiment. An arbitrary, overgrown estuary marshland – home to wild horses, Canada geese and untamed sheep facing a constant position at the bottom of a diverse food chain from afar – is in fact home to a non-sensical, Pollock-like array of concrete structures upon closer inspection by satellite image. This particular place was an ammunitions works that closed nearly a century ago. The site of a near-24/7 production effort during the First World War, the now- mangled spectrum of structures found here; from amphitheatre-style silos for loading cordite to latticed kiln houses for some final metalwork, has been steered for longer than the lifetime of most humans by weathering alone. So, a visitor must employ some detective work to grip the real romantic stories behind such amiguous ruins. This story, unfortunately, is not so romantic – 16 deaths of workers were recorded at the factory in the space of the 1910s alone. A large local employer for its nearest village parish in the war years, the subsequent advent and expectation of would-be peace after the war to end all wars could have cast the factory into redundancy in the early 1920s. The land, where marauding livestock and atmospheric bombardment curate affairs, has been quietly left alone whilst container ships heading to Lagos, Singapore and other distant ports slowly cruise out of the Thames Estuary like clockwork.


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