National Explosives works - Cornwall, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member MoreOutdoor
N 50° 12.475 W 005° 23.863
30U E 328913 N 5564498
Quick Description: Explosive production - During the First World War, 1800 people were employed and the works supplied cordite to the Royal Navy.
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/9/2022 6:38:46 AM
Waymark Code: WM15HTH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 5

Long Description:
Explosive factories by nature are usually, away from the general population and for obvious reasons, the buildings and processes are isolated from each other. The sand dunes at Upton Towans offer such. Visiting the area one is still able to see blast/bunded buildings where the processes for making explosives were undertaken
National Explosives Works

The Kennall Gunpowder Company was granted a draft license and their plan approved, under The Explosives Act, 1875 for a factory at Loggans Towans in June 1883.

Upton Towans is the site of the National Explosives Works (known locally as the Dynamite Works or Dynamite Towans) which was established in 1888 to supply explosives to the local mines. The dunes were flattened and small enclosures made to house individual buildings for the manufacture of the explosives. The enclosures were built to avoid chain reactions when an explosion occurred and although overgrown with vegetation, are still clearly seen today, as is the network of single-track railways.
An accidental explosion on 4 September 1894, killed two men, Samuel Pick Craze and James Perry. On one occasion an explosion occurred in a nitroglycerine plant which broke windows in St Ives and, it was said, was heard on Dartmoor.

During the First World War, 1800 people were employed and the works supplied cordite to the Royal Navy. The company went into voluntary liquidation in 1919, closed in 1920, but the storage of explosives continued until the 1960s. The site is now part of the Upton Towans Nature Reserve
Images attached show works blast bunkers, process buildings, note external butress walls so in the event of error detonation, the roof would blow off. The other image is bearers for chemical tanks which supplied the process buildings by gravity, as the chemical was unstable.

(visit link)
Type of Historic Site: Military site

Address of Building, Object, or Site:
Upton Towans
Hayle, Cornwall UK


Website: [Web Link]

Admission Prices: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

One a Scale from 1-5, How Vital was the Site in WWI?:

Posted Coordinates Location:
The whole site is large and can be accessed from the beach, nearby campsites and car parks. The coordinates listed are by virtue within the old workings.


Visit Instructions:
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