Friday 14 March 2008

The 2,000 yard Gas Works - # 08/45

Here it is (or was: on this very site). The "Thing" to make you Afraid! The Brentford Gas Works. The Gas Works closed in 1963; at its largest the works covered 8 1/2 acres on both sides of the High Street. The Brentford Gas Company was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1821. Its main works lay on either side of Brentford High Street, with a long frontage to the River Thames. Consequently Brentford was one of the first towns to have fully lit streets - the peak of modern city living!

Imagine! Brentford was 1/3 giant Gas Works, 1/3 giant Water Pumping and Filtration Station, 1/3 Canal and Railway Goods Transfer point, and a mass of bad housing for 19th Century manual dock labourers and barge sailors. The "Do-Good Charities" of the 19th Century were tearing their hair out over poverty, child education and schooling and poor health and housing. A town once described as "a paradise", became "the filthiest in England".

Yet on the other side of the river was Richmond, with its royal palaces and accolade as the "most beautiful town in England".

But it's not all the official website comments.


  1. Here I am, after another hectic week, to see some wonderful pictures. Loved the story and contrast between Brentford and Richmond, and the Brentford pictures. Amazing!
    But the River Scene is unbeatable. What a great shot! Couldn't get anything similar in Santorini... ;)
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Pocahontas?!
    That's not what you'd expect, is it?

    And I have no idea how a gasworks works! I've never thought about it before.