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England had been at war with France since 1793. Napoleon, despite the Peace of Amiens (signed March 1802), still posed a threat to King and Country, and the five Board of Ordnance Establishments responsible for manufacturing and storing the country’s arms, ammunition and gunpowder risked being destroyed or captured (they were: the Tower of London, Woolwich Warren, Faversham Powder Mills, Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Factory and Purfleet Magazines)
King George III and Parliament were concerned…
In the latter part of 1802, enqiries were made into the ownership and possibility of purchasing some fields near the canal at Weedon.
The magazine Stores which were built in 1803, at the same time as the adjacent Barracks consist of brick buildings with very thick walls and a small high window at each end.
Each block of buildings that were used to store gunpowder were separated from the next by a wide earth bank. Over 1000 tons of gunpowder were stored in the magazine at any one time.