Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,470 pages of information and 233,895 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Kennall Gunpowder Co

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of Kennall Vale, Cornwall, maker of gunpowder.

The Kennall Gunpowder mill, established in 1812, was owned by Benjamin Sampson.

Early 19th century: acquired neighbouring Cosawes Gunpowder Mills

Thereafter both mills continued to expand their business, despite frequent fires and explosions. In addition to supplying explosives for mining purposes, they made considerable quantities of powder for sporting use.

c.1880 The growth of the dynamite industry spelt the end for Cornish gunpowder.

1898 Incorporated in Curtis's and Harvey

Kennall Vale is now a nature reserve managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, with a number of footpaths giving access to the remains of various buildings and watercourses. Most of the buildings were constructed from 1844 onwards. Currently (2019), walkers are cautioned not to use the path which leads past a series of seven grinding mills. The mill buildings are constructed from large granite blocks, and each had a central overshot waterwheel driving grinding mills on each side of the wheel. One mill still has the remains of the wheel and some of its gearing. The waterwheel was made by F. Dingey of Truro.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • The Times, Dec 10, 1898