Haggerston Gas Works
From London's Ghost Acres
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1829 to 1908
Gas, Tar, Coke, Ammonia, Sulphur
Used Raw Materials
|1829 |1876 |Independent Gas Light & Coke Company |-
|1876 |1908 |Gas Light & Coke Company |-
|1829 |1908 |Coal Gas Industry |-
"The works were situated on Albert and Laburnum Streets, Shoreditch, near the Regents Canal. The works were of interest as all their mains were overhead. There were originally four holders, later replaced with one large one. The Gas Light & Coke Co. took over the company in 1876 and closed the works in 1900 after which the site was cleared and stove and meter workshops erected." (The National Archives)
“Further along the canal from the works at Shoreditch was Haggerston Gasworks. It was built by the Independent Gas Light & Coke Company, who began operating in 1829 and within a few years had become a serious threat to the dominance of the Gas Light & Coke Company. As at Shoreditch, the canal-side location allowed for coal to be delivered to the works with ease, and in fact Haggerston works was built even closer to the water than this nearby rival, literally on the towpath. The Independent Gas Light & Coke Company later became another of several companies absorbed by the Gas Light in 1876. Production continued here until the turn of the century when it was decided that the Haggerston works were now surplus to requirements. Final closure came in 1908.” (Pedroche)
“The first waterside works was constructed in 1824 by the Independent Gas Light & Coke Company on the canal bank running east from the Kingsland Road bridge to the Haggerston Bridge at Brunswick Street (now Queensbridge Road). The site included no fewer than six gasometers, and imposing offices were later constructed on Kingsland Road itself, with Croll’s Gas Meter Manufactory open next door from 1859 until 1930. A small inlet within the works allowed barges to tie up and discharge; from here, coal-heavers had to carry up to 30 tons of fuel a day on their backs to the retort house. … In 1893, the Independent Gas Light & Coke Company’s former office premises were handed over to the Shoreditch Vestry for use as a public library, and the works finally ceased gas production in 1908.” (More, 16-17).
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.
Closing date? Archives say 1900, Pedroche and More say 1908.