Beckton Gas Works

From London's Ghost Acres

Revision as of 17:38, 16 November 2015 by EliseLehmann (Talk | contribs)


1870 to 1869


Loading map...

Located in

East Ham


Coal Gas, Coke, Coal Tars, Ammonia, Sulphur

Used Raw Materials


|1870 |1949 |Gas Light & Coke Company |-

|1949 |1969 |North Thames Gas Board |-

|1870 |1969 |Coal Gas Industry |-


"The plant was opened in 1870 by the Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC). The name Beckton was given to the plant and the surrounding area of east London in honour of the company's governor Simon Adams Beck. It came eventually to manufacture gas for most of London north of the Thames, with numerous smaller works being closed. Its counterpart south of the river was the South Metropolitan Gas Co's East Greenwich Gas Works on the Greenwich Peninsula.

After the Second World War a major reconstruction project was undertaken by the civil engineer T. P. O'Sullivan of Brian Colquhoun and Partners. Following nationalisation in 1949 the plant was owned by the North Thames Gas Board. After closure the residual site passed to British Gas and Transco.

The discovery of natural gas in the North Sea meant that manufactured gas became uncompetitive. The Beckton works closed between 1969 and 1970, when the last trainload left the associated chemical works.

The works lay within the London Docklands area and parts were redeveloped by the London Docklands Development Corporation."

Gas works were used to produce and store flammable gas. Coal was largely mined in Britain but also shipped in from Russia, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. None of the original three Gas Light & Coke Company works were close to water or railways, so the coal was brought in by road and then burned to create the gas, which was then purified and put into the gas holders until needed for consumer use. The process also created coke, tar, ammonia, and sulphur as by-products.