Admiralty Research Laboratory - Locations & Remains
in Teddington & Bushy Park
Teddington, Middlesex - now the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
The main site of the Admiralty Research Laboratory (ARL) was towards the eastern end of Queens Road, on the southern side, and adjoined the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Physically isolated from NPL, ARL had its own entrance; from 1939 this was an impressive pair of varnished-wood gates some 10 - 12 foot high. There was an equally impressive pair of ornamental wrought iron gates of a similar size directly opposite, on the southern boundary of the site that opened onto the perimeter road around the NPL sports ground.
Following the closure of the site in 1988 it was subject to redevelopment as a housing estate in the 1990s utilising the ARL site access point on Queens Road - now named Admiralty Way.
Upper Lodge was situated in the northwest corner of Bushy Park, and accessible by road from Hampton Hill High Street, also from Teddington and Hampton Court via the road through the park, Chestnut Avenue.
U/L site plan prior to redevelopment - not to scale
In the 1970s, building "b" was replaced by a large lab and office block for D-Group, and a further block was built in the southeast corner to accommodate the Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (JAAC). Around this time D-Group was sub-divided into work-related groups: ACINT, and N1 to N4.
Defence-related work ceased in Dec 1993 and the Upper Lodge site was returned to Crown Estates. Since then the bulk of the site has been demolished and the land returned to Bushy Park with public access. Along with the old Lodge a portion of the Rotating Beam Channel (aka the Whirling Arm) facility has been retained and redeveloped as private dwellings.
Gone but not entirely forgotten - the Monuments
A commendable initiative led by The Royal Parks Assistant Manager Bill Swan has resulted in monuments to the Admiralty Research Laboratory. Some parts of the 'Whirling Arm' have been retained and are displayed in Bushy Park near Upper Lodge (the actual location is within the old ARL site) and in the Stockyard. These items have accompanying plaques, produced by The Royal Parks, describing the hydrodynamic facilities.
This might not be the (complete) end, as Bill Swan is contemplating additional information panels giving an insight into the work of the Admiralty Research Laboratory - an outline of the information provided by these ARL webpages.
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