Camilty Gunpowder Mills 2024

The works supplied coal and shale mining industries with gunpowder from around 1890 to 1930. Shale in particular is very hard, too hard to be mined with picks, so gunpowder was essential. The site was originally owned by the Midlothian Gunpowder Company, but changing hands several times over the years, eventually ending up in the hands of ICI until being shut down in 1930. The site was converted from a corn mill, and was ideally suited for a gunpowder works for several reasons: its isolated position meant that there was no settlement nearby to be harmed by explosions; the steep banks would absorb the force of explosions and provide a higher area for office buildings; and Camilty Water was close by in case of fire.


Address: Harburn West Calder Midlothian EH55 8RH

Open Days & Times

Access at all times.


  • By Rail: West Calder / 2 miles

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