From Making Gunpowder to Keeping Fit and Active


This evening I went walking in the Regional Park in Ballincollig, on the banks of the Lee, where there are lots of trees, and streams.  The park houses the old Gunpowder Mills, one of three Royal mills that manufactured gunpowder for the British Government.

The mills were originally opened by a private individual in 1794, before being taken over by the British Government during the Napoleonic Wars.   The mills were closed in 1903, when the demand for gunpowder slowed down and other types of explosives came on the market.

Many of the ruins of the old buildings can still be seen in the park.

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In their day, the mills were ideally situated close to Cork City, and on the banks of the river, so that the gunpowder could be carried down the river on barges to Cork Harbour.   When the British took over the mills, the site was expanded, and a cavalry barracks was built there in 1810, to house the military who escorted the wagons and barges with their precious, and dangerous, cargo to the boats waiting in the harbour.

Now the soldiers and gunpowder mills are all gone, and the park is a very beautiful amenity, with lots of walks, and soccer pitches, running tracks, and even some keep fit equipment along the walkway, so that a person can ‘work out’ in the fresh air!

The air was very still this evening, and I tried to get a few photos of the trees reflected in the water.

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There are a lot of different trees, some of them very old and majestic, like this one:

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and these more slender ones

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It’s a park full of history, and a great place to take a stroll in beautiful surroundings, and to imagine how different it must have been a few centuries ago.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helen McGrath
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 19:58:56

    nice history lesson ,Joan ! J.

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  2. aj vosse
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 21:12:27

    I keep saying this… I must visit Cork… very soon! 😉

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  3. amaryllislog
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 03:25:02

    I love seeing your travels, it is so interesting and beautiful! Thank you!!

    Like

    Reply

  4. Jenny Webb
    Aug 17, 2013 @ 16:08:16

    What beautiful photos, Joan. You’ve certainly captured the variety of trees in the park. The trails group will be putting up a biodiversity sign in the park sometime this year.
    Just one comment re the gunpowder mills, the gunpowder was transported to the harbour in Cork by horse and wagon not by barges although barges were used internally on the canals. If you think about it, they would not have been able to pass the weir at the Lee Fields.

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