Art UK is the successor to Your Paintings. It is a joint initiative between the Public Catalogue Foundation (now known as Art UK), 3,000 museums and other art collections, and the BBC.

By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. Please read our Use of Cookies policy.

'Lady of the Lea' Explosives Barge

© the artist. Photo credit: Secret Island at Royal Gunpowder Mills

How you can use this image

All rights reserved.

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other exceptions to copyright permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

For all other types of use please visit the owning collection’s website for more information about permitted uses and licensing.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

For over three centuries, explosives barges carried their awesome cargo from the Mills at Waltham Abbey to the Woolwich Arsenal and the Government Magazines at Purfleet, via the rivers Lea and Thames. Road traffic across the bridges of the Lea was usually suspended as the barge passed beneath, for fear of embers (from steam-driven vehicles) and other discarded means of ignition dropping onto the deck of the passing barge.

Secret Island at Royal Gunpowder Mills

Waltham Abbey

  • Date


  • Medium

    acrylic on canvas

  • Measurements

    45 x 60 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    gift from the artist, 2001


You can help us tag artworks on Tagger. The tags above come from the public, and also from an image recognition project run by the Visual Geometry Group, University of Oxford.

Secret Island at Royal Gunpowder Mills

Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1JY England

Not all locations are open to the public. Please contact the gallery or collection for more information
View venue