Royal Gunpowder Mills

170 acre historic landscape featuring 20 listed buildings and a network of canals survive, showing the manufacture of munitions from the 17th century. Various exhibitions and guided tours of the gunpowder sites. 2ft 6in. demonstration railway.


  • Parking
  • Gift Shop
  • Refreshments
  • Disabled Access


Full Description

Science, history and nature themes are embedded in the landscape and buildings of the Royal Gunpowder Mills. Here, gunpowder and other explosives were desinged, tested and manufactured from 17th Century onwards and after the 2nd World War was the site of secret work on rocket fuels until closure in 1991.  

The site and visitor attraction is maintained by a charity.  We connect children and adult visitors to history, science and nature via our Open Sundays and Special Events. Visitors can ride on the land train on a journey to explore the northern parts of the site, criss-crossed with dry canals, alder woodland and the mysterious buildings uniquely designed to manufacture explosives peeping through the trees.

The site is an anchor point of the European Route of Heritage.  It is a Sheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Keep an eye out for wild deer and other wildlife in the beautiful setting throughout your stay.

We run a Heritage Steam day each May, and have a miniature railway and a 2' 6" railway, each keeping alive the original presence of railways on the industrial site.

A brilliant day for any visitor, we take care to welcome families, and have informative and enthusiastic volunteer guides, many connected to the site when it was a working establishment. . 

Contact & Location

Address:Beaulieu Drive
Waltham Abbey
Essex EN9 1JY
Contacts: 01992 707 370
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
View website
Open days:28 Mar, 1-17 Apr. 29 Apr-1 May, 27 May-4 Jun 1000-1700 (Last entry 1500). No further dates available at press time.
By Rail: Waltham Cross / 1 mile

Upcoming Events

05 May-07 May 2018 VE Weekend

OK – It’s back!  Our ever-popular VE Day celebrations featuring re-enactments, 40s entertainments…

This entry was last updated on 27th February 2017

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