The Gunpowder Magazine

Gunpowder Magazine, The Walls, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 1JG

A purpose built ammunition store constructed in 1749 to provide safe storage of explosives required by the military garrison at the Barracks.

Previous storage arrangements in the flankers of the Brass Bastion proved unsatisfactory during preparations for an expected attack by the Jacobite forces in 1745, when most of the gunpowder was discovered to be damp and unusable. The new Magazine incorporated features designed to ensure protection against damp and potential explosion. It is built of local sandstone and is surrounded by a high wall. The walls of the vaulted, windowless structure are re-enforced by eight heavy buttresses, intended to direct explosion safely upwards. There are ventilators above the entrance steps that allow air to circulate, protecting the powder from damp. The building has a double skinned roof and the main internal safety feature is the total absence of iron to avoid any possibility of a spark igniting the gunpowder. Among the interesting internal features are the original wooden racks.

Event Times

Friday 17 September: 12:00 - 16:00
Saturday 18 September: 11:00 - 15:00
Sunday 19 September: 12:00 - 16:00

Booking Details

No booking required

COVID-19 Considerations

This event will run in line with local & national government guidelines at the time of the festival.

Additional Information

Contact for the day: Berwick HODS Team - 07966323231

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Near the Lions House on the Elizabethan Ramparts

Organised by

Berwick Heritage Open Days and English Heritage

About the author 

Homer Lindsay

Retired Global ERP Financial Applications Analyst and Developer with an interest in people; places; photography.

A member of the Berwick Heritage Open Days Steering Group and its website developer.