Old Kent Road Gas Works
From London's Ghost Acres
Revision as of 11:04, 18 January 2016 by EliseLehmann
1833 to 1953
Used Raw Materials
|1833 |1949 |South Metropolitan Gas Company |-
|1949 |1953 |British Gas Corporation |-
|1833 |1953 |Coal Gas Industry |-
In 1833 the first works were built near the Grand Surrey Canal on Old Kent Road (The National Archives). The works on Old Kent Road began as 3 acres but by 1880 they stood on “36 acres of ground, thirty of which are freehold, the rest being leasehold. From time to time the original works have been added to and the ground built upon, until they have assumed colossal proportions. They can now make in twenty-four hours 7,000,000 cubic feet of gas, which means that they can carbonise 700 tons of coal per day, and in winter this is actually done” (The Engineer July 2 1880, 5).
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.