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Kennall Vale

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The incorporating mills had the inside walls plastered covered with dry gunpowder possibly to prevent wet powder getting into the cracks of the walls. This is a good safety feature because it was easy to clean and they wouldn't miss any excess gunpowder that could set off a chain reaction. However, they were built in two's which meant a chain reaction could easily take place and it did on the 18th May 1838. Another good safety feature is the flat roofs, in some cases gabled; they were probably made of timber but had a thin layer of slate over the top to protect the wood from rain. The mills may have had flat roofs to prevent any damage to the machinery that lay beneath it. The fact roofs where made from light materials meant that any debris that was blown away could travel vast distances and possibly ignite other mil. As well as the flat roofs the incorporating mills had large windows that faced the river. ...read more.


The granulating mill, like many buildings, was plastered to prevent gunpowder getting into cracks in the walls also it had a raised floor, this is a good design feature because it means that he gunpowder will remain dry and they will may have to repeat any part of the process. Like all the building the granulating mill was powered by water but it was built away from the river this meant that they had to use aqueducts that links to the river higher up and because of this they had to use an undershot wheel. The idea of the aqueduct was a good safety feature because it meant that they could build the Granulating mill out of 'harms way'. This particular building had shutters probably for the prevention of theft because this building was used for sieving and sorting the gunpowder. The shutters were a good safety feature because they could bolt down the windows and doors and this could prevent a massive explosion and control the direction. ...read more.


When they had to use aqueducts, that ran underground, it made sense to use an undershot wheel this wasn't quite as powerful as the overshot wheel because it didnt have the added force of gravity. Even with the idea of leats they couldn't control how the river rose and fell in different times of the year which meant they couldn't control the amount of water running down the leats. For that they needed something else and the answer came in the form of a sluice gate which could be opened and closed. If there was a lack of water it could be opened to allow more water through in winter when there was an increase in the water level it could be closed to let the correct amount of water through but at a controlled route. Typically leats adopted a U shape because it has troth at the bottom and tall sides like this: The leats normally had a slanted side so that water could run over it and turn a wheel. ...read more.

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