Monument record ORF 151 - Centrifuge circa 1966

Please read our .


Centrifuge circa 1966, consisting of a a rectangular concrete structure with gable ends to the north and south.


Grid reference Centred TM 4334 4794 (16m by 18m)
Map sheet TM44NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

2007: Field survey of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment by Historic England (S1).
Structure E1: The Centrifuge building is a rectangular concrete structure with gable ends to the north and south. It was originally entered from the west through 2 doorways, which have subsequently been sealed with breeze blocks. In the southern opening a steel cage door has recently been inserted. At eaves height on the west wall are two metal ventilation grills, also on this wall are various small bore electrical pipes and a cast iron rain-water pipe. The south gable is blank except for small bore electrical pipes and a 45cm square hole, the north gable is also blank except for a small square opening to the north east. The east wall is also featureless except for a small concrete-revetted emergency escape passage. The north and east sides of the building are protected by a shingle traverse supported by concrete wing walls on the northwest and southeast corners. The building is covered by a gently pitched roof supported on three RSJs with angle iron purlins supporting insulation boarding and the pressed metal outer cladding. To the west of the building is a metal flag pole that also might have served as a lightning conductor. Internally, immediately to the north of the door opening is a small square opening to a small toilet and washroom.The interior was lit by sealed florescent units and heated by radiators on all walls. In the centre of the building is the circular brick-lined centrifuge pit, diameter of 8.06m (26ft 6in), depth of 2.68m (8ft 9in). In the centre of the pit is the central mounting plate for the centrifuge with a cable duct leading to the northeast corner and a lower self-contained equipment room. In the pit’s brick wall to the southwest, northwest, northeast and southeast are concrete piers, above which cutouts in the floor with metal mounting plates may mark the position of a cruciform framework to support the centrifuge and its turning gear. To the south a set of concrete stairs provides access into the pit. It is finished in speckled pale green paint, the remainder of the interior is yellow. A ledge running at eaves height along the east and west walls formerly supported an overhead travelling crane. At the north end of the building are two self contained instrumentation rooms and a door (blocked)in the east wall that gave access to the emergency escape passage.


Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Cocroft, W. and Alexander, M.. 2009. Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Orford Ness, Suffolk Cold War Research & Development Site Survey Report. 10-2009. Structure No. E1.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Mar 16 2018 12:48PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.