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Tyne and Wear HER(3615): Houghton-le-Spring, Gas Works - Details

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Houghton-le-Spring, Gas Works




Coal Gas Structure

Gas Works

Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

Gas Works, possibly associated with the adjacent Houghton Colliery, (HER 3166). The gas works were established by Houghton-le-Spring District Gas Company in 1833 to supply Houghton, Newbottle and East Rainton with gas for street lighting. In 1856 it produced 15000 cubic feet of gas a day supplying 36 public lamps at £2 each per annum and supplying the colliery, churches, chapels etc in town at 4s 6d per 1000 cublic feet. E.D. Welford was the treasurer and managing director in 1856 along with Thomas Hewitson, secretary. The OS map of 1857 shows the main gasworks building, which would have held the retort house, workshop, coal store and fitters shop. The map also depicts a small gasholder C and a circular tar tank. By 1891 a linear extension had been added to the west side of the original building and two new gasholders A and B had been built. The linear building comprised the meter house, station governor, volumetric governor, livesey washer, purifier house and lime shed. The 'holy well' (HER 270) east of the gasworks could have provided the water. By 1919 another larger gasholder 1 had been built in the south-west part of the site and a small office building. Gasholders A, B and C do not appear on maps after 1920. By 1939 large gasholder 2 had been added in the south-east part of the site. By 1974 gasholders 1 and 2 had been removed and the site became a depot. By 1992 the original gasworks building had been demolished.




1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1857, 6 inch scale, Durham, 13; Whellan, W, 1856, History, Topography, and Directory of the County Palatine of Durham; AB Heritage, 2018, Former Gasworks, Halliwell Street, Houghton-le-Spring - Historic Environment Desk Based Assessment; AB Heritage, 2019 Former Gasworks, Houghton-le-Spring, Archaeological Monitoring

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