GPSS Upton-on-Severn - Worcestershire - May 2021

On the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border in Saxons lode is one of the many former oil storage depots which formed part of the GPSS oil line. A secret network of oil/fuel pipes and depots that supplied airfields across the country during the war. Many parts of the GPSS line were sold off, privatised or decommissioned from the 1990s.

GPSS Upton was one of the many decommissioned sites which has only recently been sold off by the MOD in 2019. The site consists of 3 main parts: South, North East, and North West consisting of 10.59 hectares.

The main site in the South consists of several buildings that resemble a farm house and farm outbuildings, but actually operated as administrative buildings and storage for the oil facility. There are 6 small storage mounds with an underground pump room connecting them. There is also a small ‘T’ shaped bunker to the rear of the site.

The North West site seemed to operate as a larger oil storage depot with direct supply to and from boats on the River Severn. There is a very large pump room on this site that was at least 30ft deep underground. However it is completely flooded, so totally inaccessible. I didn’t fancy testing the strength of the rusty stairs down to where the water level started either.

The North East side has very few surface features so I didn’t visit it, although you can see the outline of 5 large square underground tanks from satellite images.

The site currently sits in limbo, work has started to decontaminate and clean the depot by the new owners, but has seemed to have paused for a while. These Ex-GPSS oil depots are expensive and difficult to convert to alternative uses.

Despite this the new owner Peter Styles, local property developer & pub owner, has planning permission to turn the South site into 4 dwellings with parking.