Royal Gunpowder Mills

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The Royal Gunpowder Mills is amongst a handful of places associated with the manufacture of explosives dating back many centuries which have subsequently been preserved and opened to the public. Gunpowder production began on the site in the 1660s and after the Crown acquired it in 1787 it became one of the world’s most important centres for the understanding and manufacture of gunpowder. A century later most of the factory was converted for the manufacture of chemical explosives and set standards that were emulated at home and abroad. Explosives manufacture ceased during the Second World War and after 1945 the site became the country’s most important explosives research centre until its closure in 1991.