And down goes all before them . . .

Early Gunpowder Weapons 15th to 17th Century

A unique Battlefields Trust Study Day in conjunction with the Royal Gunpowder Mills

Saturday 24th November - 10am to 5.30pm (registration and coffee from 9.30am)

Places cost £40 which includes delegate’s packs, refreshments and lunch plus all the guides and site tours.

A unique opportunity to learn from acknowledged experts and experience live demonstrations, and all within the home of gunpowder production for over 300 years – the Royal Gunpowder Mills.

Speakers include Helen Adams, Richard Knox and Simon Marsh, with demonstrations from Rumford Artillery Group of the Wars of the Roses Federation and Rawdon’s Regiment of the English Civil War Society.

Expert interpreters and guides from the Royal Gunpowder Mills will be on hand to conduct tours and explain the evolving production processes of gunpowder, Cordite and most recently, explosives and rockets that were produced on this secret site for three hundred years. There will be opportunities to take guided land-train tours, explore the site, and visit the main exhibition, rocket vault and armoury.

Who should attend: Although covering our subject in depth, this day will be equally interesting and informative to those with a general interest in local or military history. You won’t need any specialist knowledge, just an enquiring mind and a desire to get hands-on with history.

Our experts:

Helen Adams

Helen is Project Curator and Engagement Officer at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and her specialism is global arms and armour. Helen is a member of the Oxfordshire Museums Council committee and continues to work as a consultant in evaluation for institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Science Museum; and the British Museum.

Richard Knox

Richard is the Heritage Development Manager for Leicestershire and uses his wealth of expertise to good effect at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. His role within Leicestershire has also given him a direct involvement with tremendous public interest in Richard III following the discovery of his body under a Leicester car park.

Simon Marsh

Simon is a member of the Battlefields Trust. His interests include English Civil War research on which he has lectured at the National Army Museum. His latest book is “The Train of Artillery under the Earl of Essex” and he co-authored “The Battle for London” about the capture and sack of Brentford and the Battle of Turnham Green in 1642.

Rawdon’s Regiment

Rawdon’s is one of the largest regiments of the King’s Army within the English Civil War Society. Their very large gunne is a Drake Minion firing a four pound charge of gunpowder. The regiment has two field pieces called Lady Catherine and Marquis. These are light, manoeuvrable guns that still pack a punch and they are very proud of them indeed.

Rumford Artillery Group (part of Lord Fauconbergs Household)

Part of the Wars of the Roses Federation which hosts numerous annual events the most notable of which being the Battle of Bosworth 1485 at the Bosworth Heritage Centre.

Our programme for the day**:

09.30–10.00      Registration and Coffee

10.00–10.15      Welcome and Introduction

10.15–10.45      Brief history of the Gunpowder Mills - Quentin Buller

10.45–11.25      Medieval Handgonnes - Helen Adams

11.25–11.45      Refreshments

11.45–12.30      Wars of the Roses Artillery Demonstration - Rumford Artillery Group

12.30–13.15      Tour of the Gunpowder Mills (Inside/Outside)

13.15–14.00      Lunch

14.00–14.45      Tour of the Gunpowder Mills (Outside/Inside)

14.45–15.30      ECW Artillery Demonstration - Rawdon’s Regiment

15.30–15.45      Refreshments

15.45–16.30      Finding Bosworth – How cannon balls helped to find the true location of Bosworth - Richard Knox

16.30–17.15      Artillery in the British Civil Wars - Simon Marsh

17.15–17.30      Plenary session and Close

What is included:

Entry to the Royal Gunpowder Mills, access to various exhibitions and displays, guided tours and interpreters on hand, the programme of activities, delegates packs, refreshments and lunch.

The venue and getting there:

The Royal Gunpowder Mills is located in Waltham Abbey, a short distance from junction 26 on the M25. The address and postcode is: Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1JY  There is plenty of free parking at the venue. For those travelling by public transport, the nearest station is Waltham Cross, connecting London Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale underground (Victoria Line) to/from Cheshunt/Broxbourne/Hertford East. From here the venue is a 25 minute walk or short taxi ride. The following buses also stop near the venue: 21, 212, 213, 240, 250, 251, 255, 505, 517. For more travel information the Royal Gunpowder Mills will be happy to advise on 01992 707370

How to book:

Places are limited and cost just £40. This includes delegate’s packs, refreshments and lunch plus all the guides and site tours. Details of the online booking site will be available soon and a link will be placed on this page and on the Royal Gunpowder Mills website.

Make the most of your weekend:

For those wishing to take advantage of their visit to the area may we suggest the following:

As well as visiting London, just a few of the nearby places of interest with military significance are Ambresbury Banks and Loughton Camp Iron Age Forts in Epping Forest,  North Weald Airfield, The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, Essex Regiment Museum Chelmsford, Tilbury and Coalhouse Forts, Stow Maries WW1 Airfield, Colchester and Hedingham Castles and Cressing Temple.

** Please note: The Programme may be subject to change. Some of the events take place outside; please wear warm and waterproof clothing and also appropriate footwear. Depending on the number of people attending it may be necessary to split some of the tours to manage numbers. All delegates will receive an information pack with joining details approximately two weeks prior to the Study Day.

* And down goes all before them - Henry V. The wider passage reads: “Behold the ordnance on their carriages with fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur . . . and the nimble gunner with linstock now the devilish cannon touches, and down goes all before them”.