Kennal Vale Gunpowder Works started operating in 1811 manufacturing explosives for quarrying and Mining.
There were seven pairs of Incorporating Mills which mixed the ingredients that made gunpowder. Each one powered by a water wheel fed by leats and spaced 45 feet apart for safety.
Running through the middle of the Vale is the river Kennell who’s waters powered the water mills.
In the 1880’s demand for gunpowder declined as new explosives like Dynamite were invented and so the site sold and explosives manufacture here ceased in 1910. The site was abandoned and left to nature.
During the 1800’s stone was quarried on the site and some buildings from this time still exist. But after the First World War more stone was quarried from the site as the granite is very fine grained and was used in many War Memorials, as well as the nearby railway viaduct at Ponsanooth and in the stonework of London’s Embankment.