Where to Make a Cannon? R.G.F.

by John

The Royal Gun Factory. Originally established by Henry VIII as an artillery testing range, became the Royal Gun Factory in 1671, and became the largest cannon producing factory in the world by the time of WW1. It is located next to the Thames, in the London suburb of Woolwich, 8 miles from the centre of London, but originally it was a separate village. At its peak, in WW1 it covered 1300 acres and employed 80,000 workers. It closed in 1967.

You can see why they didn’t want it near the centre of London.

Mainly I wanted to show you some interesting images from the era of black powder cannons.

The steam hammer, installed 1874, has a downward pressure of 1000 tons.
The component being forged is red hot, and held at the end of the weighted lever. No idea what the worker near the hammer is doing, but it would be hot work.
Man power and steam power (oops, my bad. This steam hammer was in James Naismith’s foundry in Manchester, 1832)
They also manufactured artillery shells (studded type shown here, so presumably 1865-1877), and small arms, naval and garrison cannons.
and the lathes were suitably sized. Sketched in WW1.