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Thread: Cremyll WWII Underground Oil-storage depot, near Plymouth, July 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Cremyll WWII Underground Oil-storage depot, near Plymouth, July 2019


    1. The History
    Searched high and low for info on this place but found absolutely nothing. Not a single shred of info anywhere on the internet. It's located over the Tamar from Plymouth and is actually in Cornwall rather than Devon. The only other thing I know about the site is that it dates back to World War II and has been abandoned for some time.

    2. The Explore
    Previously I had explored a fuel storage site closer to Cremyll. It’s above ground and easy to reach, if nothing spectacular. However, subsequently saw a very old report on 28DL on some underground tanks in the vicinity. What followed was a bit of research and thanks to good old OS maps, I managed to locate the four tanks. Hence on my next visit to Plymouth I took the ferry from Plymouth over the Tamar to Cremyll and then made the mile or so hike to where the path veered off the main road into the woods. It was easy enough to find the mound of tank no.1, although the entrance was a bit concealed. Having gone through the door it’s a left turn into a small valve room. There’s then a circular portal that you can climb through into the tank, presumably where a pipe would have been. Inside the vast tank was flooded with 7-8” of water. Hence it was a wellies jobbie which I’d thankfully packed in my back.

    Inside it was pitch black and very, very echoey. The concrete ceiling was held up by a series of metal pillars while the sides were constructed of iron sheets. In the centre was what appeared to be a spiral heating element – probably to keep the oil pumpable. After a bit of light painting it was time to squeeze back through the portal and move on to tanks 2 and 3. These were relatively close together. The layout was pretty much identical to tank 1 although these two still had some of the hatches, pullies, valves and other bits of ironwork on the top of the tanks. There was also a nice winch outside tank 2. Both were again flooded and looked identical to tank 1 so didn’t go into these. Then it was back on the track and up the hill to tank no.4, the highest tank of the four. Again, a similar lay-out. However, this one was much dryer plus didn’t have the circular heating element. So, after more light painting it was time to pack up and walk up the hill, back to the main road and off to the next site.

    Overall this was a really different place. Pretty much off the radar due to its rural location in woods. It’s the sort of place that you need good location intel on, but all-in-all, worth the effort.

    Finally - thanks to Newage who got there just before me and confirmed that they were indeed where I thought they were!

    3. The Pictures

    The valve room here is the most complete:

    img1866 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Into the tank we go:

    img1858 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    That spiral heating element:

    img1856 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    No scope for putting stuff down or knocking tripods over:

    img1860 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Either the ‘out’ pipe or ‘in’ pipe:

    img1862 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On to tank No.2:

    Cremyll 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Complete with winch:

    img1881 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1882 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The rusted entrance door:

    img1875 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    In addition to the valve room there was another empty storage space:



    img1883 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The valve room was more far gone than the first and the worst condition of the four tanks:

    Cremyll 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The entrance to tank no.3 was the cleanest:

    img1884 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Cremyll 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    But the valve system is in a poor way:

    Cremyll 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Cremyll 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    But it had the most metalwork on the top:

    img1885 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1887 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1888 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1889 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Cremyll 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The value system is far less in-tact and very rust on this one. To the right is the hole you have to climb through:

    img1900 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    You can see the water is much shallower here. As I walked across the tank floor in one place the floor did a very disconcerting wobble!

    img1893 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1898 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Back out again and here’s another hand winch:

    img1906 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This is also the only tank to retain its metal service staircase:

    img1907 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And finally, some more hatches, valves and pipes:

    img1908 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1910 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1911 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    Last edited by HughieD; 21st Sep 19 at 14:31.

  2. Thanks given by: Derelictheart, etc100, fluffy5518, Hugh Jorgan, KJurbex, Mearing, MrGruffy, Newage, One eyed Spaniel, paul.richards.up, rockfordstone, Romford Reject, Sausage, smiler
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  4. #2
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    Interesting that. love the helix tube thing that looks great. Did it stink down there?
    What the hell am I doing, I mean really at my age!

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
  6. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikinGlynn View Post
    Interesting that. love the helix tube thing that looks great. Did it stink down there?
    Cheers mate. Funnily enough it was OK. Amazing place but really off the radar. Took two trips to track these bad boys down...

  7. #4
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    Cracking set of pictures mate, still amazed we still missed one of the fuel tanks.

    Next time......

    Cheers Newage
    The Newage Traveller gaining entry so you don`t have to.....

  8. Thanks given by: HughieD
  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newage View Post
    Cracking set of pictures mate, still amazed we still missed one of the fuel tanks.

    Next time......

    Cheers Newage
    Easily done mate. Plus they are pretty much the same!

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