Posted on 21st January 2016 / 1248
Industry Type : Mining - (Metalliferous) Iron, Copper, Tin etc, Mining - Slate, Limestone and Granites, Textiles
Power Type : Water
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Ruins and Remnants

Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works is one of the best-preserved gunpowder works in Britain!

It mainly supplied gunpowder for the mines and quarries in the thriving Gwennap industrial area, but also exported around the world.

Kennall Gunpowder Company operated from 1812 to 1910.

Before the native gunpowder works, of which there were a few across the southwest, the miners had to import all their black powder. This was a lot of powder, because by 1800, Cornwall’s mining and quarrying industries were using circa 4,000 barrels per year – Boom!

The very 1st gunpowder works in Cornwall was set up in 1809 in nearby Cosawes Wood, Ponsanooth. Although a small concern, it was still successful. This encouraged Benjamin Sampson, Agent to the ever so powerful Fox family & Perran Foundry, to set-up a rival gunpowder works in Kennall Vale.

At its height, over 30 water-wheels were at work here.

It did well – the Kennall Vale Company eventually took over the rival works at Cosawes Wood. By 1860, the company was employing about 50 men and had agencies and magazines all over Cornwall to supply local mines, quarries and safety fuse works.

The steep-sided, wooded Kennall Valley has historical links with the port of Devoran.

Its other important industry was granite. The granite at Kennall Vale is particularly fine-grained, and was initially used to prepare memorials for the First World War. The granite was also used in local railway viaducts at Trewedna and Ponsanooth, and in the stonework of the London Embankment.

The Kennall Company not only ran the Gunpowder Works but also owned 2 paper mills, a farm and a number of cottages in the locality.

Woollen mills also operated here, associated with carpet making and the export of cloth. The valley also contains the remains of Carclew, a grade II listed house, once the home of mining magnate Sir Charles Lemon, Bart. (1784-1868).

These days, only a small proportion of the 56 structures of the original gunpowder works still survive. Thankfully, there are also 7 pairs of granite mills and the leats that fed water to them still onsite.

 

Cornish-Mining-World-Heritage-logo CWTKennall Vale is now a reserve of both archaeological and wildlife importance. It is managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and by excellent volunteers of course!

It is protected by law as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is also part of the World Heritage Site of Cornish Mining – see, told you it was a big deal!

 

Bring yer wellies, dog and camera and enjoy the perfect blend of industrial archaeology and nature.

 

Kennall Vale, Ponsanooth, Truro, Cornwall TR3 7HG, (ish).

Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works

Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works is one of the best-preserved gunpowder works in Britain!

It mainly supplied gunpowder for the mines and quarries in the thriving Gwennap industrial area, but also exported around the world.

Kennall Gunpowder Company operated from 1812 to 1910.

Before the native gunpowder works, of which there were a few across the southwest, the miners had to import all their black powder. This was a lot of powder, because by 1800, Cornwall’s mining and quarrying industries were using circa 4,000 barrels per year – Boom!

The very 1st gunpowder works in Cornwall was set up in 1809 in nearby Cosawes Wood, Ponsanooth. Although a small concern, it was still successful. This encouraged Benjamin Sampson, Agent to the ever so powerful Fox family & Perran Foundry, to set-up a rival gunpowder works in Kennall Vale.

At its height, over 30 water-wheels were at work here.

It did well – the Kennall Vale Company eventually took over the rival works at Cosawes Wood. By 1860, the company was employing about 50 men and had agencies and magazines all over Cornwall to supply local mines, quarries and safety fuse works.

The steep-sided, wooded Kennall Valley has historical links with the port of Devoran.

Its other important industry was granite. The granite at Kennall Vale is particularly fine-grained, and was initially used to prepare memorials for the First World War. The granite was also used in local railway viaducts at Trewedna and Ponsanooth, and in the stonework of the London Embankment.

The Kennall Company not only ran the Gunpowder Works but also owned 2 paper mills, a farm and a number of cottages in the locality.

Woollen mills also operated here, associated with carpet making and the export of cloth. The valley also contains the remains of Carclew, a grade II listed house, once the home of mining magnate Sir Charles Lemon, Bart. (1784-1868).

These days, only a small proportion of the 56 structures of the original gunpowder works still survive. Thankfully, there are also 7 pairs of granite mills and the leats that fed water to them still onsite.

 

Cornish-Mining-World-Heritage-logo CWTKennall Vale is now a reserve of both archaeological and wildlife importance. It is managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and by excellent volunteers of course!

It is protected by law as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is also part of the World Heritage Site of Cornish Mining – see, told you it was a big deal!

 

Bring yer wellies, dog and camera and enjoy the perfect blend of industrial archaeology and nature.

 

Kennall Vale, Ponsanooth, Truro, Cornwall TR3 7HG, (ish).

Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works
Industry Type : Mining - (Metalliferous) Iron, Copper, Tin etc, Mining - Slate, Limestone and Granites, Textiles
Power Type : Water
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Ruins and Remnants
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