Early Armaments

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

The Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey is an important industrial site containing one of the most extensive ranges of industrial archaeology in the country and is the historic centre of the British military explosives industry.

Its twenty listed buildings and 175-acre wetland surroundings represent one of the world’s most remarkable industrial sites.

Inside the refurbished Mills, visitors are introduced to the invention of gunpowder in China, how it came to Britain, the ingredients that go into its production and how the raw materials are gathered. They encounter the equipment used to manufacture gunpowder, guncotton and cordite.

Recreated buildings, audio-visual displays and computer simulations lift the lid on this once secretive site and on the lives of the people who worked there.

Project type

Heritage / Visitor Attraction

Scope of works

  • Interpretative Planning
  • Exhibition Design and Creative Direction
  • Graphic Design
  • Contract Management




1996 - 1998

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‘‘The exhibition and interpretation at the Royal Gunpowder Mills have achieved the twin aims of explaining a complex subject and a complex site. The introductory exhibition and film have received particular praise from our visitors. Event’s design team had to overcome many obstacles outside our control, such as the floods of 2000, but produced an exceptional result on time and within budget.’’

Robert Taylor