Gas Light & Coke Company

From London's Ghost Acres

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1812 to 1949

Located in



The Gas Light & Coke Company (sometimes known as the Chartered Gas Light & Coke Company) was established in 1810. By 1823 the company operated three major gas works in London: one at Horseferry Road/Great Peter St in Westminster and two in Shoreditch, at Goswell St/Brick Lane and on Curtain Road. These gasworks were “annually consuming 20,678 chaldrons of coal, producing 248,000,000 cubic feet of gas, and lighting 30,735 lamps through 122 miles of gas mains” (The National Archives). In 1868 the Gas Light & Coke Company established a new gas works at Beckton.

Under the The City of London Gas Act 1868, the Gas Light & Coke Company absorbed many other London gas works companies. "As a result of amalgamation, the Company's output of gas increased dramatically from 1,285,602 cubic feet in 1869, 9,934,489 in 1877, to 21,357,687 in 1900." (The National Archives).

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.

51.51561, 0.078019 Beckton Gas Works

51.49583, -0.13028 Great Peter Street Gas Works's%20Lost%20Power%20Stations%20and%20Gasworks&pg=PT127#v=onepage&q&f=false