Commercial Gas Company

From London's Ghost Acres

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1837 to 1949

Located in



The Commercial Gas Light & Coke Company was founded in 1837. The company had gas works in 1839 at Harford St., Stepney and on Leven Rd, Poplar in 1878. In 1949 the Commercial Gas Company was taken over by the North Thames Gas Board (The National Archives).

The Commercial Gas Company took over the Poplar Gas Light Company in 1850. The Poplar Gas Company had works at Back Lane, Poplar that were built in 1821 but the Commercial Gas company shut them down in 1852. They also took over the small works that Poplar Gas Light Company had at West Ferry Road in Millwall that were built in 1841, which the Commercial Gas Company shut down in 1855.

In 1852 the Commercial Gas Company purchased two gas works from the British Gas Light Company. The works at Schoolhouse Lane in Stepney were built in 1825 and sold by the Commercial Gas Company in 1855. The works in Bow, off Bow Road had been bought from the Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company in 1829 by the British Gas Light Company. The Commercial Gas Company dismantled these works in 1856.

The Commercial Gas Company bought the Ratcliffe Gas Light and Coke Company in 1875. Ratcliffe Gas Light and Coke Company had works in Wapping that were purchased in 1835 and continued to operate until 1935.

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.

51.51921, -0.03758 Stepney Gas Works

51.51609, -0.00239 Leven Road Gas Works