Chilworth Gunpowder Works, Chilworth, Guildford, Surrey
The ruins of Chilworth Gunpowder Works stand silently in the woods in a small village not far from Guildford. This begs the question: Why were there gunpowder works in the Surrey Hills? Fair enough, it’s the last place you’d expect to find that sort of thing but back in those days the fast flowing water of the Tillingbourne River was an asset to industry because it could be used to power water mills. Another thing is that the abundance of alder trees that grew in the valley could be utilised to make charcoal. So there you go, now you know.
There are walking trails around the old gunpowder works, mostly through sun dappled woodlands dotted with many of the 100 or so ruins, and actually, it makes for a lovely stroll. Wear your wellies because it can be a bit muddy in parts; kids can paddle in the stream and look out for toads, and when you’ve finished your walk you can find a nice spot for a picnic. The simple things in life, you see, sometimes they’re the best.
All information correct at the time of writing