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Former Gasworks at Wharf Road Chelmsford

Gill, Jonathan Former Gasworks at Wharf Road Chelmsford. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology was commissioned by Montagu Evans LLP on behalf of National Grid to create an Historic Building Record of the former gasworks at Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex. The work focused on the two surviving gasholders: a frame guided holder constructed between 1913 and 1919 and a spiral-guided holder constructed in the 1940s. These holders were located on an area of 20th-century expansion to the gasworks which was originally established in 1819 and was one of the earliest inland gasworks in the country. The works was located close to one end of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, a waterway which had been constructed in the 1790s and which allowed the supply of cheap coal shipped along the east coast from the northeast coalfield. In common with other gasworks across the country the site steadily expanded during the later 19th and early 20th centuries with more facilities and ever larger gasholders but much of the works was made redundant in the later 20th century after the decision to phase out producing coal gas in favour of natural gas. Two holders survived into the 20th century but these also became redundant and are being demolished as part of the redevelopment of the site. An archive record has been created prior to (and during) the dismantling of these holders as part of a national programme of recording these distinctive structures which have formed familiar landmarks in towns and cities throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries. The work has provided for posterity an archive record of these distinctive structures and it will allow comparison with other sites. The design of the older frame-guided holder (No.114) would have been a relatively conservative form for this period (c.1913-19), at a time when spiral guided holders had been introduced, although it was still a common type. Its standards were Type 32 (as defined by Malcolm Tucker) which were generally used between c.1880 and 1930 while the horizontal bracing was Type M (generally found between c.1890 and the 1930s).

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Essex
Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
ID Code:4962
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:20 Jun 2019 16:40
Last Modified:20 Jun 2019 16:40

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