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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Thre Royal Gunpowder Mill and a another photo first.

Talk about rain last night! I only just managed to close the cratch cover in time. Thankfully it only lasted about 5 minutes but it was enough to partially flood the towpath. Put paid to my fishing that's for sure.

A very weak rainbow.

atmospheric sky.

The rain lasted on and off all night and we knew we were in for a soaking when we eventually set off this morning. We had planned to have a walk round the gunpowder site in Waltham Abbey but hadn't planned for the bad weather. Still we only had today to do it in so on with the wet weather gear, head down, brolly up and away we went. We found the best place to moor was above Waltham Town Lock and then it's only about a quarter of a mile walk to the Mill. The cost for us oldies was £8 each with another £2 each for the land train ride. I do recommend this ride because you get to see more of whats around the site but one tip, sit on the right of the trailer, you definitely see more.The mill first started in the mid 1660's, was owned privately until 1787 and then came under the Crown until 1991. From then on no more gunpowder was manufactured. It also played its part in the two world wars manufacturing cordite propellants and developing other explosives.As a museum it now offers explanations on gunpowder manufacturer, Guy Fawkes and his plot to blow up Parliament, as well as many disused and decaying buildings which gives you an insight to the history of the place. The grounds are extensive and the nature walks are a 'must do' but obviously better walked in the dry! With the sighting of the deer as we walked round one of the disused huts on the nature walk, standing not 15yds from us, the day was complete. Worth every penny of the £20 spent today.

In the armory

Near the end of the land train tour the driver Ken switched off the tractor engine and armed with a loaf of bread started to feed the carp. They were huge. Unfortunately I was on the left side of the trailer so didn't really get a good photo.

 This is a waterwheel powered gunpowder press. The press is hidden behind the large traverse (blast wall) on the left. The round topped building houses the remains of the waterwheel powered hydraulic pressure pump.

Unique bridge over the canal. 

 Explosives were transported round the site in small canals on different levels. This lock linked two levels.

Twisted bark from an Alder tree
Moored opposite the White Water center.

Tonight's atmospheric sky
And finally:- All these photos were taken on the nature walk today.

Small Tortoiseshell

Black Backed Deer. Only found in the grounds of the Gunpowder Mill and Epping forest.

Afloat in a carpet of duckweed

Daddy long legs spider

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