Battersea Gas Holders :: Shared Description

Most of the information below was taken from the Battersea gas holders web site LinkExternal link .

The disused gasholders originally stored town gas produced by Nine Elms Gasworks which was established in 1853 on land off Nine Elms Road which is now occupied by New Covent Garden Market and the former Royal Mail depot.

The original tanks, numbered 1 to 3 were destroyed in a fire and explosion which claimed nine lives.

Four tanks exist today, numbered 4 to 7. These are in the process of being dismantled and the land is being developed for housing use.

Gasholder No. 4 was built between 1872 and 1873 (rebuilt 1967)
Gasholder No. 5 was built between 1875 and 1876
Gasholder No. 6 was built between 1882 and 1883
Gasholder No. 7 (known as the blue MAN gasholder) was built in 1932

A board on the boundary wall on Prince of Wales Drive provides information about the builders of the tanks.

Gasholders four, five and six
These gasholders were designed by the London Gas Light Company’s engineer, Robert Morton also designed the Engineer’s House.

The large tanks at the bottom of all three gasholders were dug by John Aird and Sons who also worked on major projects such as dismantling Crystal Palace and moving it from Hyde Park to South London.

Gasholders four and five were built by a company called Joshua and William Horton that was based in Smethwick, near Birmingham.

Gasholder six was built by Ashmore and While, a company based in Stockton on Tees, near Middlesbrough. Only two years before completing gasholder six, the company built one of the largest telescopic gasholders at the time in Birmingham. They did this by ingeniously converting a non-telescoping gasholder tank and extending its frame allowing it to store double the amount of gas.

Gasholder seven – The MAN holder
MAN stands for Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg, which is the name of the German company that developed the design for the tall blue gasholder. MAN gasholders are located across the country, Europe and the US. MAN still exists and specialises in making engines, buses and trucks.

While the technology was German, the gasholders were built by an English company called R&J Dempster. R&J Dempster were granted the license by MAN to build the gasholders and went on to even build them in Germany itself.

Today, modern variants of MAN gasholders continue to be built across the world by another German company, Leffer, thanks to their relatively lightweight design and large capacity.
by Thomas Nugent
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TQ2877 : Battersea gas holders by Thomas Nugent
TQ2876 : Battersea gas works by Thomas Nugent
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TQ2877 : Battersea gas holders by Thomas Nugent


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Created: Sat, 24 May 2014, Updated: Sun, 25 May 2014

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