In the middle part of the 19thC. Kennall Vale was a hive of industry with 50 or so men engaged in the dangerous process of making gunpowder for use in the extensive Cornish Mining Industry.
The ruined mills and other factory buildings are now being subsumed by nature. Trees and ivy inhabit the roofless, sturdy remnants of the granite buildings. Moss covers the huge iron cog wheels that were once turned by the power of the River Kennall. The sound of which together with birdsong pervades what could be a melancholy place, where once men laboured, fearing an errant spark, the result of which would be oblivion.
One May morning in 1838, five mills blew up in succession leaving many orphans to grieve over bodily remnants.
When high explosives were invented, production was moved to a new factory in Hayle. The mills at Kennall Vale were scaled back to making fuses and the factory finally closed in 1910.
Now the area is a nature reserve with a well kept network of paths weaving upstream. Well off the tourist trail, locals walk their dogs and students from the University bring borrowed equipment to capture nature as she weaves her gentle magic over the abandoned buildings.