Plan of the Factory

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The plan above is a scanned, partial copy of a map of the factory (circa 1940s), which exists in the County Durham archive. It has been reproduced in a low-resolution format for illustrative purposes only and may not be copied without first seeking permission from the Durham Record Office. Reference NT/AY 5/4/9.

The factory footprint can be clearly seen in red, with some key landmarks such as Aycliffe Village in the bottom right, Heighington Station near bottom left and the Great North Road (A167). The factory was known as two sections, Heightington (West of Heighington Station) and Aycliffe.

The massive factory had about 1,000 buildings on a site which covered 867 acres. It was converted at the end of WWII into what we know today as Aycliffe Industrial Park. Some of the original ROF buildings still exist and are now used by modern day businesses.

View ‘Keys to the Past’ information about this site

Aerial Photo (Circa 1951)

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The aerial photo above is a scanned, partial copy of a picture of the factory (circa early 1950s), which exists in the County Durham archive. It has been reproduced in a low-resolution format for illustrative purposes only and may not be copied without first seeking permission from the Durham Record Office. Reference NT/AY 7/5/4/2.

Most of the munitions factory buildings still existed into the 1950s and as private firms took over the buildings, and modified them for their own purposes, the site was turned into the Aycliffe Industrial Park.

The photograph above shows:-

1. The Royal Ordnance Factory site (Industrial Park).
2. Aycliffe Village bottom right.
3. Bickford and Congreve Terraces (Munitions houses).
4. The Great North Road (A167) on the right.
5. The former ROF Administrative buildings on the left. These buildings became the Durham County Police Headquarters which opened on 19th April 1947.

Modern-Day Map of the site (Multimap)

Aerial Photo (Circa 1955)

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The aerial photo above is a scanned, partial copy of a picture of the factory (circa mid 1950s), which exists in the County Durham archive. It has been reproduced in a low-resolution format for illustrative purposes only and may not be copied without first seeking permission from the Durham Record Office. Reference D/X 1192/9.

This photo shows the junction off the A167 into the Industrial Park, just near the Ness factory, Newton Press, Linde Lansing etc.

The modern day ‘Little Acorns’ Nursery/Express Courier building can be seen top-left of the photo. Many of the ROF buildings and earth-covered mounds can still be seen in this shot from 1955.

What did the Aycliffe ROF site look like in WWII?

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This photo is from an unknown source. I think it shows ROF Risley during WWII. Please let us know if you have any details on the original owner of this photo and any possible copyright problems. Thanks.

There are very few known photographs of the actual Aycliffe factory site and it’s buildings during the war.

The reason for this is not known, but I suspect it was because of the secret nature of the work carried out at the factory.

In many of the photos on this website, the ROF buildings can be seen in the background.

The photograph above shows a typical Wartime Royal Ordnance Factory and the partially buried buildings that were designed to minimise any blast damage.

I don’t know where this photo originally came from, it was emailed to us and I suspect it shows another Wartime ROF site such as Risley.

As many of the Wartime ROF sites were built to the same specifications, it is a good illustration of how Aycliffe would have looked.

If you have any actual photos from Aycliffe then please let us know – I would be very interested to see them!