Waltham Abbey to Broxbourne

The Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey is one of the most significant former industrial sites in the Lea Valley. Its history goes back over 300 years, having been built on the site of a fulling mill established in the 16th century by the Abbey monks. The manufacture of gunpowder dates from the late-17th century and the site was acquired by the Crown in 1787. Gunpowder was transported via the Lea and Thames to the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich.

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2015. Although now a heritage site open to the public, many of the former Royal Gunpowder Mills buildings remain derelict.


2015. WW2 battle re-enactors at the Royal Gunpowder Mills.

Much of the land bordering the Lea and Lee Navigation from Waltham Abbey north towards Broxbourne is owned by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. It contains several lakes and reservoirs, formed as a result of industrial sand and gravel extraction, together with various water-based recreational facilities such as a White Water Centre. The east side of the valley was, and remains, a centre for the 'glasshouse industry', where 'salad' vegetables, such as cucumbers and peppers, are grown on a large scale.

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2018. View north from Trinity Lane, Waltham Cross, towards Bowyer's Water.


2018. Lockeepers house, Waltham Common Lock, Lee Navigation.

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2017. Waltham Common Lock, Lee Navigation.


2018. Lee Navigation near Windmill Lane, Cheshunt.


2018. Unidentified structure, Bowyer's Water, a former gravel pit.


2018. Another derelict structure at Bowyer's Water.

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2017. View south from Fishers Green Lane.


2017. Electricity sub-station 'hidden' between the River Lea and Lee Navigation at Fishers Green.


2017. Kings Weir, Lee Navigation near Turnford.


2017. Lee Navigation at Kings Weir.


2017. Holyfield Lake


2018. Footbridge over the branch of the River Lea that fed Broxbourne Old Mill.


2017. Lee Valley Boat Centre, Broxbourne.

2017. Remains of Broxbourne Old Mill. There has been a mill on this site for at least 900 years.


2017. Preserved remains of James Pulham & Son's terracotta and artificial stone ('Pelhamite') factory at Broxbourne. The firm produced a wide range of high-quality, classically designed garden ornaments.


2018. Brick bridge (1908) carrying Nazeing New Road over the London-Cambridge railway and the New River.


2018. Broxbourne Pumping Station (1886, Grade 2 listed) on the New River.


 2018. Glasshouses on Dobbs Weir Road, Broxbourne.                                                                                       

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    © Mike Seaborne 2017