So you want to live... in an armament depot

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Are we talking ex-MoD?

Are we talking ex-MoD?

Set up in 1942, Dean Hill Armaments Depot processed ordnance for the Royal Navy and later the RAF too. Until last year, it had been an operational defence munitions centre, chock-full of ordnance ranging from laser-guided Paveway bombs to artillery shells.

Why did it close?

Of the eight principal defence munitions centres in the UK, Dean Hill was deemed to be the least critical component and was considered surplus to requirements (saving the MOD around £2bn).

How is the site laid out?

It's a 583-acre complex with more than 150 buildings ranging from the fire station and administrative blocks to the 24 magazines carved into the chalk hillside, where the munitions were stored. And the pièce de résistance - a narrow-gauge railway.

A railway?

Well you can't exactly lug ordnance around so an extensive rail network was developed to transport the items between various workshops and storage bunkers around the depot. There was even a wide-gauge rail link to the main line (severed in 1987). Included in the sale are two, recently refurbished locomotives so you can have your very own choo-choo to play around with.

What am I supposed to do with 586 acres of bunkers (and a canteen)?

Try to look at the bigger picture; many ex-MoD complexes have been purchased by enthusiasts/entrepreneurs who have turned them into museums. Other potential uses suggested have included turning it into a nature reserve or selling it on as prime residential plots. The option of turning it into a Bond-esque secret hideout is also an option.

How much bang for my buck?

Defence Estates is selling Dean Hill, near Salisbury through Drivers Jonas (020-7896 8000; www.driversjonas.com); price on application.

Comments