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Bishopton regeneration

History of Bishopton ROF

Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory entrance
ROF Bishopton was home to an explosives factory and other buildings associated with the production of explosives and propellants.
Royal Ordnance Factories (ROFs) was the collective name given to the UK Government's munitions factories in, and after, the Second World War. These factories were the responsibility of the Ministry of Supply, and later the Ministry of Defence, until they were privatised in the late 1980s.
 
ROF Bishopton was home to an explosives factory and other buildings associated with the production of explosives and propellants. The factory was responsible for producing these materials from the First World War and continued to supply the Army and Royal Air Force until production ceased in 2002.
 
When operational, the Bishopton site was the Royal Ordnance's primary manufacturer of propellants for gun and rocket systems. Around 75% of the buildings dated to the Second World War, with many of the redundant buildings from this period being partially contaminated with explosives. The site was also used for the production of combustible cartridge cases and demilitarisation of munitions.
 

Dargavel House

Within the complex is Dargavel House, a Grade B listed ‘Tower House’ building. The oldest part of the existing Dargavel House is a Z plan tower which dates back to the late-16th Century and was built by the Maxwell’s of Dargavel.
 
Throughout the centuries, the House has been adapted and extended with the latest changes being made around 1910. During the 20th Century, it was used for meetings and training when it became part of the Royal Ordnance site.
 

Key dates

  • 1915-1919: 550-acre World War One munitions filling factory built and subsequently decommissioned and removed after the War
  • 1938: Ministry of Defence compulsory purchased a further 2,000 acres of private land
  • 1938-1940: Three propellant and explosives manufacturing facilities built 
  • 1980s: BAE Systems (formerly British Aerospace) buys a number of munitions factories
  • 2001: Manufacturing at the site ceases
  • 2003: Site is decommissioned
  • 2012: BAE Systems completes phase one of land remediation
  • 2015: Phase two remediation completed and over 350 houses are built and occupied