Photos from Chilworth Gunpowder Mill

May 19, 2014

Among Chilworth woods, on the course of the Tilling Bourne river, once stood a gunpowder mill. Founded by the East India Company in 1625, it was one of the largest powder works in the country, employing 600 people at its peak, and supplying gunpowder to the government.

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The downturn in demand for explosives at the end of the war resulted in amalgamations in the industry, leading to the closure of the last factory in 1920. Many of the buildings were converted into dwellings after that point and a small community known at “Tin Town” lived in the valley until the early 1960’s.

Although many have been demolished, several buildings still exist within the site. Like these old walls of former buildings,

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the steam engine bed

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and an edge runner stone.

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A selection of these old millstones are visible as you walk towards the old mill.

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There’s also a swing bridge which helped punts travel up and down the waterways.

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By the river and wetlands, a storage hut is nestled in-between the trees.

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This area although overgrown for the most part is surrounded by beautiful pathways.

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What was once the old mill stood tall in the sunshine, the blue sky its backdrop.

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Its remains are classed as a monument

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but being exposed to the elements it’s awash with moss and ivy.

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I’m not sure this wonderful place would have been discovered if it hadn’t been for wanting an abandoned photo. But what a great find.

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Linking up with #whatsthestory here on PODcast.

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  • older mum in a muddle May 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Really interesting pictures… I can only imagine that a gun powder mill must have been a pretty dangerous place to work, thee must have been some accidents! X

  • Susie Dove May 19, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Very atmospheric photos – I don’t think I’d like to visit there at night!

  • PinkOddy May 19, 2014 at 11:47 am

    How beautiful can something that has been abandoned be.

  • Donna @OrdCyclingGirl May 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Lovely photos. I particularly like the black and white shot and the one with the long lane and tunnel of trees!

  • Lucie May 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Your photos are lovely!! What a great place to visit! This would be right up my hubbys street!

  • mellissa williams May 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    What an intriguing place! That black and white photo is amazing, so atmospheric.

  • Iona@redpeffer May 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    What a great discovery-I love finding places like this to explore.

  • Jenny May 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Charly you continue to amaze me on all your great adventures you go on. What a great place for photos too an abandon place too. Bet would be spooky at night. lol Lovely shots here and post. Can’t wait to see where you go next with that camera. Amazing. #whatsthestory

  • Michelle May 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I do love abandoned places and the photos that can go along with it. I’d love to go on an urban explore photography trip – but I’m not brave enough lol

  • Kate Thompson May 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    What an amazing place to explore! I have visions of my younger brother and I as kids, we would have LOVED it there.

  • Jen aka The Mad House May 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    It looks like a fairytale place, where you could ruin and make up so many stories. I love places like this as do my boys

  • lisa prince May 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    what a very interesting post , great to read, you have such fantastic ventures x

  • Wicked World of Lucas May 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Oh Wow!!! Charly, this is stunning and I went all goose pimply when I was reading this. I love learning about the history of a place and this one is right up my street. What an amazing find and I bet you got a real sense of history when you were walking around. Fabulous post xx #whatsthestory

  • Victoria Mylittlel May 19, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    impressive pictures, i wish i can be as good as you photography wise

  • The Reading Residence May 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    A very interesting find, and you’ve so many fabulous photos. Fascinating story.

  • YouBabyMeMummy May 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    What an interesting place, lovely pictures x

  • Sylvia @ Happiness is homemade May 19, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Amazing place and beautiful photos! I love exploring abandoned places like this 🙂

  • Notmyyearoff May 19, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    It must have been such a big hive of activity back in the day. Your photos may it look really serene and slightly eery too. Wonder of nature will just overtake it all one day.

  • Jenny May 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    It looks look a really interesting place to explore. I can’t wait to explore places like this with my children as soon as we’ve ditched the buggy!

  • Louise Perry Fairweather May 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I always find I learn things from you. Looks an interesting place x

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Those millstones are so regal and sombre! Your black and white shots have captured them especially well. I’d love to visit this place.

  • Mums do travel May 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    How interesting to read about the history of this place, and your photos are great. Where exactly is Chilworth?

  • Globalmouse May 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Oh this is exactly my kind of place – full of history and beautiful, haunting even to look at. Where abouts is it in the country? Love your photos.

  • Kizzy May 20, 2014 at 6:32 am

    What an amazing place to visit and yet again some wonderful photo’s. Love your pictures

  • Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault May 20, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Places like this fascinate me – I think of all the people who worked there and those who probably lost their lives when explosions happened, as they did from time to time. There were similar, although less well preserved, gunpowder mills near where I lived in Dartford and I always liked walking there.

  • Kara May 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

    What an interesting place to visit. Gorgeous photos as ever x

  • Fritha Strickland May 20, 2014 at 11:43 am

    this place looks fantastic! We would love to go exploring in a place like this x

  • Sara-Jayne, Keep Up With The Jones Family May 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    What an absolutely beautiful location… I love places like this, they make me feel so at peace.

  • Keri-Anne May 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    What a wonderful place!! I love exploring old ruins and places with a lot of history x

  • Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) May 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Theres so much drama in your photos. Stories too. I am currently watching (non stop) the season 8 of criminal minds and my mind is in adark place so when I saw your photos .. the story that came to mind is morbid and gothic. Amazing photos as always. #WhatsTheStory

  • Sarah Bailey May 21, 2014 at 12:20 am

    What a gorgeous looking place, your photos are stunning. x

  • agatapokutycka May 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    It is nice to find such a lovely “forgotten” place

  • Bonny Bonafilla May 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Great photos, Charly. I love old industrial architecture, and this was a stunner with the vegetation swallowing it all back into the woods again. All the best, Bonny

  • Louisa May 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I love to visit places like this. They are so beautiful and atmospheric.

  • JuggleMum Nadine Hill May 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I love your slideshow! There’s nothing like a great British day out is there!
    Definitely a #whatsthestory through photos!