Beckton Gas Works

From London's Ghost Acres

Revision as of 10:52, 18 January 2016 by EliseLehmann (Talk | contribs)


1870 to 1969


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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 coal gas. Coal was mined in Britain and then shipped on a barge up rivers or on trains to the gas works. There it was burned to create the gas, which was then purified and put into the gas holders until needed for consumer use to light streets and buildings. The process also created coke, tar, ammonia, and sulphur as by-products.