Lancashire At War.co.uk

Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire

ROF Chorley

The Royal Ordnance Factory in Euxton near Chorley was once home to a huge munitions factory. It employed 35,000 people at the height of its production and "In May 1943 workers on the 928 acres site filled 19 bouncing bombs for the famous ‘Dambuster’ raid on the German dams in the Ruhr valley" (chorleyremembers.org.uk).

 

It is currently being turned into the village of Buckshaw (see this development in the photo to the Right).

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Right and Below: The "last pillbox" of ROF Chorley. Will it survive the development? Probably, but how long before it is blocked off to stop the kids playing in it?

 

It is some way from the housing, on the edge of woodland as you climb to the top of the hill.

All around the boundaries of the site are reminders of how well protected this site was.

Left, Right & Below are several pillboxes/defended structures associated with the railway. The top two are the same pillbox, behind it is the main station today, behind that is the new Tesco (not pictured).

Below: three photos of buildings and associated features of the site which still remain. Note one says 'General Stores'.

Like most Royal Ordnance Factories, it had a railway line running alongside it. In its day the station was 'ROF Halt'. Today a new station 'Buckshaw Parkway' stops alongside it.

Below: two more photos of contemporary buildings still standing. The Headquarters Building on Euxton Lane is now part of Runshaw College. The site was opened by King George VI in 1939.

Below Left & Right: what is this strange building near the railway line in the garden of a bungalow?

It looks like a variation on a Home Guard Small Arms Store. Anyone any ideas?

Chorley ROF Chorley ROF 1940s Chorley ROF 1960s

Above Left: 1940's aerial view, Above Right: 1960's aerial view. Both show the extent of this huge site. Both courtesy of the wonderful mariomaps.com (courtesy of Lancashire County Council)

Above: Courtesy of Google Earth, the site today - Buckshaw Village in development.

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The excellent Museum of Lancashire in Preston has many WWII exhibits. One of them (above) is easy to miss as you pass through. It is a small bit about ROF Chorley and has some 105mm shells and 25 Pounder shells loaned from BAS Systems, Global Combat Systems, Munitions Dept.

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