My photograph of the strange rectangular shape on the Woolley Lane side of the Woolley Valley seemed popular yesterday with more than 250 of you taking a look and nearly one hundred more so far this morning!
Bill Bennett is one Bath Newseum regular who has been in touch.
“Your photo is certainly intriguing. I’ve walked through the Woolley Valley several times and love the peacefulness and beauty of the place. I Googled “Woolley valley earthworks” and came up with this link.
It’s a PDF of an article written some years ago which describes gunpowder manufacturing in the Woolley Valley. I don’t know where your photo was taken exactly but given the scale of the industry during the 18th C in the valley, it’s likely that the stockade/ramparts/enclosure has something to do with it.
The article is a long read, but it’s also a fascinating insight into the process and also the links with Bristol’s Merchant Venturers and the slave trade. Who’d have thought that such a beautiful peaceful location would have such a history! “
Bill the article was a fascinating read but the gunpowder factory was further along – just down from All Saints Church at Woolley and beside the Lam Brook which powered the Mill.
I had not realised that gunpowder – manufactured just a couple of miles from where l live – was sent to West Africa as part of the barter for slaves to be shipped to the Indies.
Meanwhile, Paul Stossich told me: