Thursday, 15 May 2014

Friday, 24 January 2014

A Trip To The Gunpowder Woods (Part 1)

First an apology for the lack of posts on this blog - I blame the weather , NOT  conducive to photography and I keep forgetting to take my camera with me on walks . This posting is about a trip me and Charlie made to the Sedgewick Gunpowder Works Woods , the site of a Victorian gunpowder mill .

This first bit of wood is called Hawes Wood and is VERY  wet underfoot !, it always reminds me of Tolkien's description of 'The Old Forest' in his Lord of the Rings Trilogy .

Or maybe 'Fangorn Forest' home of the Ents.

This tree always reminds me of the Ent 'Treebeard'!

This small island is called on the Ordnance Survey map - Robin Hood's Island .

A view of the island from down stream . As children we used to wade across to it when the water was low (!?) Why it is called this I do not know as there are no local legends or stories of the hero.

Charlie waits patiently to have his photo took. At this point there was a weir across the river so that the water could be channelled down a mill race to power the machinery in the gunpowder works . Nowadays the National Trust (who owns the site) have erected a walkway so that you can walk along the race .

The mill race is now cut of from the river as the weir is no longer there. 

The weir crossed the river here and when I was a child there was still a large wooden beam across it which we used to crawl over to get to the other side ! , the very thought turns my stomach now !.

This stream flows from the wood into the race further down.

The river is rather high due to all the rain we have been having.

This tree has blown down recently across the mill race walkway.

It's branches almost reach across the river.

This overgrown structure is an overflow for the mill race to channel off excess water when it was not needed.

This looks like the remains of a railway which crossed the race , think its a 'fish plate' that held the track in place .

Our first glimpse of the ruins of the gunpowder works - note the massive walls and buttresses .

Another view - I think this was a magazine , the walls are very thick and earth has been thrown up against them so that in the event of a accidental explosion the blast was channelled upwards and did no lateral damage . My sister has kindly lent me a book about these works and so in part 2 I will attempt to identify the various structures that are left.

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