Serving south London
The East Greenwich works were planned in the 1880s as a large 'out-of-town' gas factory to fulfil the growing needs of south London.
|East Greenwich gasworks. © NMM|
At that time, the South Metropolitan Gas Company had claims to be the top gas company in the country. Its works on the Greenwich peninsula rivalled those across the river at Beckton.
North Sea competition
Gas production ceased in 1976 after the discovery of huge reserves of natural gas in the North Sea. The former site of the gasworks is now home to the Millennium Dome.
|The Millennium Dome from the River Thames. © NMM|
The building sits on the very edge of the longitudinal Greenwich Meridian. That is the location most nations use to measure their local time.
The East Greenwich works dominated the skyline of the Greenwich peninsula. The site eventually covered 60 hectares (150 acres) with a river frontage stretching for about 1.5 km (just over 1 mile).
|East Greenwich gasworks as viewed from Greenfell Street. © NMM|
All of the buildings were on a grand scale. The four retort houses, for example, were nearly 150 m (485 feet) long and 22 m (73 feet) wide. Each had stores that could hold 6500 tons of coal.