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  1. ITV Report

National Explosives Factory in Cornwall given heritage protection

An aerial view of the National Explosives Factory site. Credit: Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Record/Cornwall Council

A rare Cornish factory site that supplied the Royal Navy with explosives during the First World War has been given heritage protection.

The National Explosives Factory in Hayle has been given protected status on the advice of Historic England.

View on the west side of the site showing how the dunes were used to protect the rest of the factory from any explosion. Credit: Historic England

Initially built to supply explosives to the mining industry, the factory later produced cordite during the First World War.

At the height of production, the site employed 1800 people from the local area - mainly women.

Building platforms on the summit of New Nitro Hill where nitroglycerine was made. Credit: Historic England

Historic England says recognising the site acknowledges its "outstanding historic interest".

The National Explosives factory has many compelling stories to tell, as a state-of-the-art site supplying the Cornish mining industry, and as a vital supplier of explosives – made by women - to the Royal Navy. Protecting this site acknowledges its outstanding historic interest and ensures we can continue to learn from it for generations to come.

– Becky Barrett, Regional Director for Historic England in the South West

Commenting on the announcement the factory has been given heritage protection, Rob Nolan of Cornwall Council said:

“As the owners of most of the site of the Explosives Works, Cornwall Council is thrilled that the important role this site played in history has been recognised with this designation".

There are almost 400,000 items on the heritage protection list, covering England's most valued historic places.

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