The Guy Fawkes Festival at the Royal Gunpowder Mills takes place the weekend of 2nd and 3rd November. There is no documentary evidence that Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators obtained the black powder for the infamous Gunpowder Plot from this mill, but the possibility is imagined at this popular festival.
There will be a number of family-friendly events in addition to a large fireworks display. A short educational and engaging film for all ages, The Ghost of Guy Fawkes, will be on offer throughout the afternoon. In Professor Nitrate's Mad Lab there will be hands-on activities, such as making slime and crafting historical lanterns. There will also be a child-friendly show about the science of explosives. Exhibitions on rockets, armoury, and weaponry will highlight the gunpowder factory's heritage in the context of the historical events of Bonfire Night. Tractor-trailer guided tours of the historical gunpowder factory will be available at 2.30pm and 3.30pm on Saturday only. This is a great chance to enjoy the autumnal weather outside, explore the grounds, and learn about the 300-year history of the site.
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey, Waterwheel powered gunpowder press; image by Chris Allen via Wikimedia
Hot food and drinks will be available from the Gunpowder Café and other food vendors from the area. On both Saturday and Sunday there will be an archery display from 'The Royal Golden Eagle Medieval Archers' followed by a fireworks display at 7pm.
This is a popular and crowded event. See the website for special instructions regarding parking and entry. Pre-booking online guarantees entrance to the site. For arrivals on the day, last entry will be at 6pm, but gates may close early if capacity is reached.