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Gasholders between West Ham and Bromley-by-Bow appear on Victorian Society’s top ten endangered buildings list

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 September 2018

A Bromley-by-Bow gasholder. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETY

A Bromley-by-Bow gasholder. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETY

Archant

An ‘unmatched’ symbol of the Industrial Revolution has been listed as one of the top ten endangered buildings in the country.

The Bromley-by-Bow gasholders. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETYThe Bromley-by-Bow gasholders. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETY

Conservation charity the Victorian Society has put the Grade II-listed Bromley-by-Bow gasholders built in Newham on its annual run down of buildings at risk.

Director of the Victorian Society Christopher Costelloe said: “The group value of so many Victorian gasholders packed together is unmatched anywhere else in the world, making the Bromley-by-Bow gasholders a true symbol for the Industrial Revolution and historically of high significance.

“The longer they are left fenced off with no purpose, the more they are at risk from demolition which would be a huge loss to east London’s industrial heritage.”

The seven gasholders on the banks of the River Lea can be seen by train between West Ham and Bromley-by-Bow stations.

Victorian Society director Christopher Costelloe. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETYVictorian Society director Christopher Costelloe. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETY

There were originally eight when built in 1872 by Clark and Kirkham but one was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War.

The Victorian Society singled out their intricate ironwork as an example of their heritage value but said they were showing signs of decay.

They could also be at risk of demolition in the future because of the large area they sit on.

Campaigner Tom Ridge from the East End Waterway Group described the seven holders as “magnificent beasts” which could be converted into flats, similar to what happened to four others in King’s Cross, to save them.

Victorian Society president Griff Rhys Jones. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETYVictorian Society president Griff Rhys Jones. Pic: VICTORIAN SOCIETY

“We’re in danger of losing everything industrial in London because it is all being cleared for housing. London was the birthplace of the gas industry,” Mr Ridge said.

But he warned that the cost of redeveloping them could put developers off.

The Victorian Society’s endangered list includes Victorian and Edwardian buildings from across England and Wales.

The society draws up the list after experts assess nominations from the public.

It stated that the Grade II or Grade II*-listed buildings on this year’s top ten have been neglected for so long that they have now reached a critical point of dereliction and only urgent action would prevent them from being lost forever.

Victorian Society president Griff Rhys Jones said: “Every single building on this list is crying out for redevelopment and could make something truly wonderful for its community.”

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