Main Magazine

The best way to ensure that troops were well supplied with ammunition was to build the gunpowder storage facilities into the defensive line. Magazines (derived from the French term magazin meaning to store), were meant to be secure, dry and bomb proof.  The main gunpowder magazine was all of those things. It was built of stone held together with a water-proof mortar to keep the interior dry.  If gunpowder got wet it could not be used. Opposite to the main entrance, the magazine had a trapdoor to allow for the loading of barrels of powder into the building. The main magazine had straight walls, an arched roof and an earthen covering, which made it strong enough to resist enemy artillery. The ceiling of the magazine was pierced in at least three places to allow air circulation for maintaining dry conditions. Archaeologists working in the main magazine in 1992 and 1993 recovered evidence of wooden racking and a room with a wooden floor, extending from the main door to one quarter of the length of the building. The reason for this room is not known; however, it was quite possible that this was a shifting room where gun-powder was rolled into paper cartridges and linen bags for use as ammunition.