Land at Courtlands Farm, Park Road, Banstead

Historic building recording by H Samuels and S Chandler of ASE. The ammunition depot at Banstead formed one of three depots built between 1938 and 1939 to store and supply ammunition for the anti-aircraft batteries surrounding and defending London. The Banstead site supplied the South-West London sector from Dulwich to Raynes Park and included the South-East region for a short period in 1940. The site officially closed as an active storage/distribution centre in 1953. The site structures form an example of the early use of reinforced concrete for defensive military purposes. The eight stores that form the ammunition depot survive, although most of their associated infrastructure no longer remains in situ. The external infrastructure of the stores, principally their loading bays, conveyor systems and earth embankments, have either been demolished or altered to adapt the site for agricultural and storage use. Despite the loss of these elements, the character of each store is preserved internally through the survival of various original features such as doors, windows, ‘bin’ divisions, signage and light fittings. The preservation of numerous site features, including all but one of the anti-blast traverses (bund), signage, two pre-war lamp posts and sections of steel mesh used to fence the north-eastern perimeter of the site, combine to form a good survival of an anti-aircraft equipment ammunition depot dating to the Second World War. Store 4 has been identified for preservation as part of the most recent plans for the site. This represents the best example because of its degree of survival and condition, both internally and within its southern loading bay, with retained conveyor supports and earth embankments towards its eastern side. Despite the loss of internal divisions between the ‘bins’, the passage and associated conveyor supports, the retention of the associated loading and distribution configuration, served by original door latches, bull light fixtures and gated entrances, combine to help illustrate the function and operational processes of the site.