There were some forty miles miles of standard gauge railway, and thirty-six miles of sidings, inside the factory grounds, as well as nearly fifty miles of narrow gauge. HM Factory Gretna stretched for nine miles west from Longtown, along the Solway coast. The function of the factory was to produce cordite, the propellant for artillery shells.
The mural at the rear is by Hugh Bryden (commisioned by Friends of Annandale and Eskdale Museums) and gives an idea of the extent of the works. The various processes involved in the manufacture of the cordite were well spread out to minimise the consequences of accidental explosion. The western end of the factory at Dornock (Eastriggs) had the plants for producing the nitric and sulphuric acids, the nitroglycerine and the guncotton. At Mossband near Longtown there was the ether plant and the drying stoves. The finished product, cordite, was then transferred offsite to be assembled into the cartridge cases of artillery shells at munitions works elsewhere in the country.
Some 30,000 were involved in building the works, and it was staffed by 20,000 workers, the majority of whom were women. The townships of Eastriggs and Gretna were built from scratch to house these.
see here, and that at Eastriggs has been mothballed. That's part of the Eastriggs site above.
Photos © Skip Cottage