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Report - Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex, September 2015

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by SuperNiki, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. SuperNiki

    SuperNiki 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    This one was kind of a permission visit, and kind of not...

    I was at the RGPM's Fayre Times Festival, which has been held for around three years and for the last two at this venue, so although I had permission to be there... still had to duck from secca every time they drove round bits me and friends weren't supposed to be in! ;)

    [​IMG]


    History:
    The site has been in operation, in one form or another, since the 1700s. The site has previously seen life as; a fulling mill for cloth production, a gunpowder mill, a nitro-based explosives and propellants site, a defence research establishment (for propellants, explosives and rockets), and finally a research establishment. The RGPM is one of three Gunpowder Mills in the UK and is the best preserved example. The site finally closed as a research centre in 1991 after 300 years in production!


    The South side of the site has been totally cleared of buildings but the North side has been decontaminated and designated a heritage site, whereupon a visitor centre has been built for members of the public to learn about gunpowder and the history of the site. I recommend a trip round as a visitor, it is good fun!


    Explore:
    I've been here before, last year as a member of one of the re-enactment groups as well as a few years ago as a general member of the public, so knew there were some interesting bits to explore around. After having a bit of a poke around and a look at the aerial footage, we decided to have a little look around the bits that said no entry... and we found some cracking stuff!

    Onto the photos, sorry there's quite a few but the site is huge and varied!



    Who needs that many fuse boxes?!

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    Still not entirely sure what these are for... but hey, gotta love a good set of chains!
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    Stunning building, I've got some aerial video I'm working on too of this and other parts of the site!
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    Grinding stone. There were quite a few hanging around
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    Cogs for one of the press houses
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    Apparently one of the last remaining original gunpowder presses, sad its sanding there rusting really...
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    Inside the press house, the internal parts of the water wheel were really well preserved, if a bit rusty..!
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    Another one of the press houses, built in 1879
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    There's loads of random buildings behind the main field where the show was. Didn't get much of a chance to poke around in person as secca drove past and asked us to clear off. I was flying at the time so managed to drop them a line about dodgy GPS needing 10 mins or so to bring him down... they left us for a bit but they were back round pretty soon. Footage from the quad is cool though! Will post a link as soon as I've actually got it edited and uploaded! :)
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    Another one round the back of the main building. These looked residential but didn't get too much chance to look.
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    One of the press houses we were camped right opposite!
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    Just can't help singing that Electric Six song in my head each time I see this...
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    An exciting entrance...
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    ... to a rocket testing place.... I think... either was it was a cool find!
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    Corridor leading to one of a few underground bunkers!
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    Bits of old machinery left lying around
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    Bridge has the 'VR' arms on it for Queen Victoria... I thought this was kinda cool! :)
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    Crowning glory of artistic shot of the day. I'm well proud of this one!
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    Hope you liked the report and pics! :)

    Full set of photos here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/75530339@N02/yf9339
     
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  2. superpaul39

    superpaul39 28DL Full Member
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    Nice one it a cool place, we shall have to go back there with torches next time
     
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  3. Cuuvin

    Cuuvin 28DL Colonial Member
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    They're either ....
    A. where they chain up naughty urban explorers when they catch 'em where they're not supposed to be :eek:.... OR

    B. To secure High pressure gas cylinders so that they don't fall over & knock the valve off the top, sending them whizzing about like some demented land torpedoes! :D

    Like these nut jobs ...
     
  4. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam 28DL Regular User
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    some interesting bits and bobs there, I like the VR bridge too!
     
  5. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    Great set of pictures, looks like an interesting place, right under my nose too
     
  6. WelshMoocher

    WelshMoocher Hello Dave!
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    Great report, loved the pics, agree the chanins (looking at the curve of the brackets), is probably for holding gas cylinders/large extinguishers (if they are not locked).
     
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