Facts about Purfleet
High House Production Park
In 2006 Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation initiated a project to regenerate High House Purfleet by renovating historic farm buildings dating back to the 16th century and encouraging the development of some creative industries buildings on the 14-acre site. The Royal Opera House’s Bob and Tamar Manoukian scene-making facility for its operas and ballets opened on the High House site in December 2010 followed by a Costume Centre in 2015. Creative & Cultural Skills opened The Backstage Centre at the park in March 2013. The Backstage Centre now houses the national headquarters of Creative & Cultural Skills. In July 2013 ACME Studios, opened 43 artist studios in the park.
In the 18th century, Purfleet Royal Gunpowder Magazine was established as a location for the storage of gunpowder together with a garrison to protect it. There was a constant danger of explosion as a result of lightning strikes. Benjamin Franklin was asked for advice on the design of a lightning conductor and a committee of the Royal Society supported his design for pointed conductors. After the American Revolution, the powder store was protected from lightning which hit the building, though metal drainpipes actually did the work. When King George III heard of this, he insisted they be replaced with blunt conductors and the president of the Royal Society was forced to resign.