At the beginning of May 2018, Addyman Archaeology completed a conservation and feasibility report focusing on Stobsmill Gunpowder Works here in Gorebridge. A summary of some of the key findings of the report are highlighted below.
- ‘The site of the former Gorebridge Gunpowder Works is significant to society and will continue to be significant because of the variety of tangible and intangible aspects that make it what it is today. It has historical, architectural, setting, social and archaeological significance.’
- ‘There is the historical significance of the site, as it was the first [earliest surviving] gunpowder works in Scotland, with broad connections and associations with the local area, including the fact that the mills were the cause of the great early 19th-century expansion of Gorebridge as a settlement.’
- ‘There is archaeological potential in the site from all periods of human activity, however the evidence is likely to be concentrated in the intense industrialisation of the site as a gunpowder works between the 1790s-1860s.’
- ‘Overall, and in summary, Gorebridge Gunpowder Works has been assessed to be of ‘considerable’ cultural significance (definitions below). This definition means that the historic asset overall and the elements within it are of national importance, of ‘more than special interest’ (HES: definition for a Blisted structure).’
The report was keen to stress that ‘the greatest threat to the significance of Gorebridge gunpowder works is continuation of the status quo; ‘doing nothing’ is not an option, as elements of the complex, already badly degraded and deteriorating, will be lost permanently.’
The survey also sought community feedback regarding local opinion of the importance, maintenance and management of the site. This feedback was overwhelmingly positive and illustrated the support of the community in preserving its local history.