Thursday, 15 May 2014

Monday, 10 February 2014

A Trip To The Gunpowder Woods (Part 2).

The River Kent is probably at its widest here .

The National Trust has kindly provided a walkway around one of the blast walls , as children we inched our way around it on a narrow ledge ! (scary).

The woods now are a caravan park in the Summer months, at the moment its deserted. 

Lots off the buildings are now missing , due to age and the needs to build a safe caravan park. I have photocopied the map of the site from 'Blackpowder Manufacture in Cumbria' the book my sister lent me and marked where the photo was taken . Photo 2 is is part of the Corning House.

If you click on the map it will enlarge , the angle and location are marked with a red arrow and number.

Looking down at the Incorporating Mills .

A closer view that hole looks very deep and dangerous !.

The mill race or leat leading away from the site. 

Site of the main waterwheel which was 36 foot in diameter. The Gunpowder works were opened in 1857 by the Swinglehurst family.

Another view - not a good photo I'm afraid !. This works replaced one which was across the river and under new Victorian regulation was deemed unsafe - it had a public footpath through the middle of it !!!.

A large piece of iron from the mill , I thought I'll put my hat on it to give a scale to it .

And this happened ! - it took a great amount of bad language and finally bribery to get it returned !.

Blast wall from the Incorporating Mill .

Another view , the works ran till 1935 when it was closed due to lack of investment and changing manufacturing methods.

More blast walls . There where 5 accidents in its history with a total of 13 men killed over all.

As a youngster there was an old man living in our village (Mr Proctor) who had been a joiner working at the sites Cooperage making barrels for transporting the powder. When he died my father got a few of his tools which were all made of cooper - so as not to make a spark .

When I was a small boy wandering these woods none of these structures were fenced off !.

The Corning house , the walls are all buttressed to contain any explosions.

The building in the background is one of the toilet blocks for the caravan park.

The main outlet for the water used to propel the machinery .

The leat approaching the turbine house .

Charlie poses by the arch into the turbine house.

The remains of some of the pulley , there was a tower here but it has been demolished for safety.

The Coopers yard.

The gatehouse, now a private house. There was a Search house here were the workmen had to leave all their pipes, tobacco and matches before going to work . The other book on this subject is 'The Gunpowder Mills of Cumbria' by Ian Tyler. There were several other Gunpowder Works in the area but nothing now remains of them . I will try and take some photos of the other site across the river which has now all but disappeared .

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