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For over three centuries, explosives barges carried their awesome cargo from the Mills at Waltham Abbey to the Woolwich Arsenal and the Government Magazines at Purfleet, via the rivers Lea and Thames. Road traffic across the bridges of the Lea was usually suspended as the barge passed beneath, for fear of embers (from steam-driven vehicles) and other discarded means of ignition dropping onto the deck of the passing barge.

Secret Island at Royal Gunpowder Mills

Waltham Abbey




acrylic on canvas


H 45 x W 60 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the artist, 2001

Work type



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Secret Island at Royal Gunpowder Mills

Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1JY England

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