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Purfleet

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Purfleet is a town in the Thurrock unitary authority in Essex, England. It is contained between the A13 road to the north and the River Thames to the south and is within the easterly bounds of the M25 motorway but just outside the Greater London boundary. It was within the traditional Church of England parish of West Thurrock. There is some industry to the south and the area forms part of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area. Purfleet is one of seven conservation areas in Thurrock.HistoryIn 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.
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