Tuesday, March 24, 2020

National Explosives factory site at Hayle awarded heritage status

Initially built to provide dynamite for the mining industry, the National Explosives Factory at Upton Towans near Hayle went on to supply the Royal Navy with explosives during the First World War. On the advice of Historic England, last year it was given heritage protection by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The site is situated in an expansive, undulating area of sand dunes overlooking Hayle beach, where golden sand runs for three miles. Acres of sand dunes, rolling grassy hills and windy paths form Upton Towans, and the area feels like a golf course for giants, with sand dunes as bunkers. It is littered with various architectural remnants from the factory site, including what is believed to be the earliest surviving mass-concrete magazines from the 1890s (one of which is pictured above).

From the beginning it was mainly women who worked in the factory, with the number of staff increasing more than tenfold with the start of the First World War, from 175 to 1,800. The factory was state of the art for its time, only overtaken in the 1950s by Goonhilly as the most technologically advanced project in Cornwall.

Previously on Barnflakes
Abandoned gunpowder works at Kennall Vale, Ponsanooth, Cornwall
The Fuse Factory, Tuckingmill

1 comment :

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