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Author Topic: Faversham Gunpowder Works  (Read 7268 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Faversham Gunpowder Works
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2012, 20:27:00 »
Office of Ordnance
9th March 1760
Right Honourable and Honourable Gentlemen.

In obedience to your Commands of the 4th March 1760 I humbly lay before your Honours a Projected Plan, Profit and Estimates for Rebuilding the Storekeeper’s House at Feversham, to which I have annexed an Estimate of the Repairs proposed to be done at the Powder Mills in 1760.
To Rebuild the Storekeeper’s House according to the annexed Plan and Profit, the Superficial Content of the Ground Floor, is 12 squares 19 feet, the which is Estimates........at £ 75 per square.£ 915  5 0
5 squares to the Offices and Out Houses at £25 per square.£ 125  0  0
£1040  5 0
At the Powder Mills
For Inclosing one half of this Office’s Lands at this place there will be wanted 153 Rods running of Park Pailing of 5 and 6 feet high Work included at£2.3 per Rod.£ 175 19 0
To 4 Barr Gates at Ditto with proper fastenings at 50 Each.£  10  0 0
For Repairing the Wharfing at the lower Mills, making a Foot Bridge on the back of the said Mills and Gravelling the same.£  60  0 0
15 squares of rough Boarding the Hay loft over the Stable.£  21  0 0
To Repair the Powder Corning Houses and Stores.£  23 10 0
For Rebuilding a Watch-House and making a new one for the Watch-Men.£  47  0 0
To Repair the small Magazine for Charges.£  13  0 0
To outside Painting.£  15  0 0
£ 365  9 0

Estimated by
J. C. Desmaretz

Offline kyn

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Re: Faversham Gunpowder Works
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 12:45:19 »
Office of Ordnance  3rd March 1760

Right Honourable and Honourable Gentlemen

When last at Faversham, to take a Survey of the Powder Mills and other Buildings thereunto belonging, in order to Report to your Honours the several repairs that are necessary to be done there this year.
I beg leave to Represent that the House allotted to the Storekeeper, which hath four rooms on a floor, the walls of one half of which being only a 4 inch partition and very much decay’s is in great want to be rebuilt and as the other half of the said house, wants new roofing and other considerable repairs, and judging that any money laid out in repairing of it will be ill bestowed, I am humble of opinion that the rebuilding of it on a lesser plan is preferable, but will defer to estimate untill further orders.

I am
Right Honourable and Honourable Gentlemen
Your most obedient & most humble servant
J Desmaretz

Offline kyn

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Re: Faversham Gunpowder Works
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 10:49:00 »
Office of Ordnance
Ospringe 14th December 1759

An account of the rods and feet around his majestys works at this place distinguishing what is under lease and what is freehold.

RodsFeet
7Round the orchard in which stands the storehouse wherein is first lodges the ?ep with powder.11 years lease
155From the carthouse round by the town.  Mills to the back gate by the stone bridge & two gates included.11 years lease
194From the corner of the charcoal house round the stables to the river on Mr ???dons land.Lease till next michmas (?)
30 Round the storehouseFreehold

Edward Wilks      Arthur Neil

Offline kyn

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Re: Faversham Gunpowder Works
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 18:20:02 »
Report and estimate for faversham 1760

Office of Ordnance
Ospringe 14th December 1759

Agreeable to your Honourable Commander of the 7th inst. we have applied to several carpenters to us any estimates of the expense of securing the works, but as they as well as we are entirely ignorant of the dimensions and heighth of the palisades your Honours would be pleased should be put up.  We cannot repeat any estimate of this kind; and as your Honours have been pleased to order us three watchmen, we shall take care that they do their duty so far as to prevent any damage being done to the works till such time as your Honours shall be pleased to order and engineer to survey the same who is acquainted with the Office ???? & nature of pallisading of which we are ignorant; and we further beg have to represent to your Honours that great part of the fence that is decayed is we apprehend subject to a ????? terminating in 11 years, & some other part whereon the stable stores to a ????? terminating at much almost next therefrom we do not imagine your Honours would judge an expensive fence necessary for so short a time, a particular account of which we have herewith inclosed to your Honours

We are
Your Honours
Most obedient
Humble servants
Edward Wilks       Arthur Neil

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Faversham Gunpowder Works
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 10:10:08 »
The various posts about the gunpowder works ignited (get it?) an interest in searching out more about them. One of my weaknesses at the moment is Google books. It is amazing what will come to the surface when some quite obscure search phrases are entered. For the Faversham Gunpowder Works quite a bit comes up in various publications, some of which I have posted here in something approaching a date order within the publication they were in. Explosions first then some other bits of info. As you will see the info below is relevant to the 18c/19c periods of the Faversham works.

From the 'Manual of Dates' that listed
various gunpowder explosions from around the world. As will be seen from other records this list does not record every accident that occurred at Faversham.
Jan 1st 1767 - The Royal Mills at Faversham are blown up.
Sept 1st 1770 - A man and a horse are killed by an explosion at Faversham.
Oct 3rd 1789 - One man is killed by an explosion at Faversham.
Sept 6th 1802 - Six men and three horses are killed at Faversham.
Jan 16th 1810 - Five men and a boy, and two horses are killed be an explosion at Faversham.
Oct 3rd 1817 - Three men are killed at Faversham.
March 29th 1865 - Two persons are injured at Faversham.

From the 'Chronological Historian'.
April 18th 1781 - The Royal Powder Mills at Faversham, containing 90 barrels of gunpowder, blew up, and three men were killed; the surrounding mills, working houses, and buildings were unroofed or broken by the explosion, and windows in the western part of Faversham were destroyed.

October 3rd 1789
- A drying stove belonging to the powder mill at Faversham, took fire, and blew up 20 barrels of gunpowder, by which accident, an old man, 65 years of age, was blown up and rendered a dreadful spectacle.

September 7th 1802 - Near Faversham part of the Royal Gunpowder Works blew up, by which accident six men and three horses were killed.

October 3rd 1817 - The Corning House of the gunpowder works near Faversham blew up with a dreadful explosion, and three men at work were literally blown to pieces.

From the 'Annual Register of Dates'.
April 1803 - In the afternoon, a few minutes after three o'clock, the Corning Mill No1, part of the Royal Gunpowder Works, situated about three quarters of a mile north-west of the town of Faversham, blew up with a most tremendous explosion, and killed six men.

From 'Chamber's Journal' 1859.
In the year 1780, an explosion of a Corning House took place at Faversham, where there are to this day some
 extensive gunpowder mills. This Corning House was situated on a small island at the foot of a hill, known as Davington Hill. The building was totally destroyed, and six men lost their lives. After this explosion, the government bought some land called The Marsh, at a greater distance from the town of Faversham. In just a few years an explosion at the 'Marsh Works' killed seven men.

From the 'Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales' 1851.
Faversham has long been celebrated for its manufacture of gunpowder, under the superintendance of a branch of the Ordnance. This manufacture is supposed to have been established here previous to the reign of Elizabeth. It was carried on by private individuals 'till 1760, when government, to insure greater security, erected buildings and carried on the manufacture by its own agents. During the late war upwards of 400 persons were employed in these works, which annually produced from 12,000 to 13,000 barrels. Government has for the last few years relinquished the powder workshere, but still holds the property, which is tenanted at present by Messrs Hall.

The Ordnance established powder works at Faversham in the year 1759, and upon a memorial to the Treasury settled an establishment under Royal Warrant, 17th November 1759, at total annual cost of £398.

From 'The Beauties of England' and Wales' 1808.
On the stream which flows through the village, and afterwards falls into Faversham Creek are some extensive gunpowder works, both belonging to the government, and in private hands. A neat range of barracks for the infantry has been recently built in this village. The preceding parts of this passage suggest the village referred to is Ospringe.

From the 'Ordnance Estimates for 1821'.
Allow £4,507 for the repairs, labour and civil establishment of the powder works at Faversham.

From a Register of Engineers of Britain.
John Peter Desmaretz 1689-1768 - Military Engineer. 1762 to 1763 designed both horse mills and powder mills at Faversham.

From 'The Economy of Kent 1640 to 1914.
Faversham was the other main centre of gunpowder production. here, during the Napoleonic Wars the government-run 'Home' and 'Marsh' works, and the Oare Works owned by Andrews and Pigou of Dartford, had a combined output of between 535 and 580 tons per annum. Subsequent control of all the works fell to John Hamm of Dartford. A completely new works, the Cotton Powder Company Limited opened on an isolated site at Uplees in 1873 making Tonite blasting powder, Ammonium Nitrate explosives form 1880, Nitroglycerine from 1892, and finally Cordite from 1896.

What a place Faversham must have been! Not only the second largest powder manufacturer after Waltham Abbey, but a major centre of export and import that at one time had over 8,000 tons of shipping based on it. Who would believe it now?

Offline kyn

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Faversham Gunpowder Works
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 17:17:07 »
Some remaining features from the gunpowder works.

 

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