Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Abandoned gunpowder works at Kennall Vale, Ponsanooth, Cornwall

It’s always strangely beautiful and reassuring to see nature reclaim itself back from civilisation. In post-apocalyptic sci-fi films such as I am Legend with Will Smith or a real life example like Chernobyl, it's exciting to see how nature doesn't hang around – once man is gone, nature moves back in pretty pronto.

In Cornwall this is evident in the many abandoned mines. The gunpowder works at Kennall Vale were built in 1812 for producing dynamite for mining (rather than military purposes), but became abandoned in the early 1900s.

Tucked away in a lush and verdant wooded valley five miles from Redruth, the numerous ruins – including granite mills and rusty machinery – are covered in ivy and moss. The fast-flowing Kennall river runs through it, with many charming waterfalls tumbling down the hills into it. The whole area feels like an enchanted fairy tale film set, its humid environment perfect for moss and ferns. It's also a fine place for spotting intriguing birds such as dippers. Indeed, the only sounds you hear in the valley are that of birdsong and the rushing of the river.

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