Difference between revisions of "Crescent Wharf (Chemical Works)"

From London's Ghost Acres

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Latest revision as of 13:53, 12 May 2016

Built in 1893 for the production of sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate, the Crescent Wharf Chemical Works are much better known for the explosion which occurred there in 1917. The original production of sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide was separated into two plants, with the main plant producing sodium carbonate, and the secondary plant producing sodium hydroxide. By 1912 the production of sodium hydroxide at the secondary plant had ceased, and it lay idle until demand for munitions as a result of the First World War encouraged the British Government to requisition the secondary plant and convert it for the purpose of TNT purification. The plant could purify large amounts of TNT at full production, around 9 tons per day. On the evening of January 19th, 1917, a fire broke out at Crescent Wharf. Containment efforts were unsuccessful, and around 50 tons of stored TNT detonated and produced a catastrophic explosion which leveled the plant, damaged several factories on both sides of the river Thames, and took the lives of 73 people.


1893 to 1917


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Located in



Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide), Sodium Carbonate, TNT

Used Raw Materials

Salt Brine, Limestone


From To Owner
1893 1917 Brunner, Mond and Co


From To Industry
1893 1917 Chemical Industry