After explosives

From explosives factory to Country Park…



At the end of WWI demand for explosives dries up. The explosives factory can't make a profit.


Explosives factory closes. Ministry of War buys the site and sets up the Sea Transport Stores to store equipment for troop and hospital ships.


Sea Transport Stores rumoured to equip landing craft and troop ships for D-Day, the largest amphibian assault in history.

1956 - The Suez Crisis

Government takes over the site to equip merchant ships in Tilbury and London heading to the Suez Canal in Egypt.

In just two weeks the crisis is over and Pitsea site is mothballed. Remaining stocks at Pitsea are transferred to other depots and the 100 or so workers who have worked the majority of their lives at the site are laid off.

Into the 1960's

The Land Reclamation company dump waste paper from London in an attempt to raise the level of the surrounding marshes and reclaim land from the sea. 

Household waste brought to surrounding marshes along the river first by barge, then by lorries using an access road through what's now the park. 

Small industrial companies operate from park site.


Basildon District Council buy the site from the MoD for £99,600.


Basildon Council draw up plans for a recreational space on the site.

Early 1980's

Wat Tyler Country Park opens to the public.


The Country Park includes 125 acres of natural wilderness designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.


Wat Tyler Centre and park trails are opened.


The Green Centre opens in the building formerly home to the Motorboat Museum.


Vast amounts of excavated soil from the Olympic games construction sites is used to re-contour the surrounding land.


The former landfill site to the East becomes part of the Country Park itself.