Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company

From London's Ghost Acres

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1821 to 1876

Located in



Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company began in 1821 with gas works set up in Shoreditch, St Pancras, and Fulham by 1824 and new works built at Bromley-by-Bow in the early 1870s. A gas holder built in 1830 on the Fulham site is still standing today, the oldest known gas holder in the world. Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company became the leading gas company in London and merged with Gas Light & Coke Company in 1876 to form an even larger company. As electricity became more prominent, the use of coal gas diminished, and the discovery and use of natural gas put the coal gas industry out of business (Pedroche 2013).

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.

Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company were also suppliers of gas for the occasional hot air balloon.

51.47623, -0.18601 and 51.47692, -0.186 Fulham Gas Works

51.53352, -0.0606 and 51.53421, -0.06807 Shoreditch Gas Works

51.53426, -0.12642 Pancras Gas Works

51.5226, -0.00443 Bromley by Bow Gas Works