Phoenix Gas Company

From London's Ghost Acres

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1824 to 1880

Located in



The Phoenix Gas Light and Coke Company was formed in 1824. The Bankside gas works (built in 1814 as the first gas works south of the Thames) were purchased from the South London Gas Company that same year (The National Archives). By 1827, Phoenix Gas Company had acquired gas works on Thames Street in Greenwich (Aslet, 255). The gas works at Vauxhall were purchased from the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company in 1847, and were expanded in 1864. In 1880 The Phoenix Gas Company was taken over by the South Metropolitan Gas Company (The National Archives).

Gas works were used to produce and store flammable gas. Coal was largely mined in Britain but also shipped in from Russia, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. The coal was shipped in on a barge up the river or on trains and then burned to create the gas, which was then purified and put into the gas holders until needed for consumer use. The process also created coke, tar, ammonia, and sulphur as by-products.

51.48597, -0.12541 - Vauxhall

51.48268, -0.01703 - Thames Street

51.50773, -0.10026 - Bankside page 496 The Story of Greenwich by Clive Aslet