Site history

The gas holders originally stored gas produced by the Hornsey Gas Company which was established in 1857 due to a rise in demand for gas to support residential growth in the borough.

The gasworks was first established in 1866 on land just outside of the current site boundary. Following the Hornsey Gas Order of 1884, the gasworks expanded to include the present Clarendon Road site.

  • Gas holder No.2 – built 1868 *
  • Gas holder No.1 – built 1892
  • Gas holder No.3 – built 1929
* Gas Holder No.2 was dismantled before 1970, leaving the two remaining gas holders and some small buildings on site.

The gas holders at Hornsey were built in response to the need for increased gas storage, The construction of each gas holder marked a key point in the expansion of the gas industry as demand grew in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What did the gas holders do?

The Clarendon Road Gas Holders were built to store town gas produced by the Hornsey Gas Company. Today our gas is sourced from underground reserves across the world but, before this, gas was produced at a gasworks by heating coal.

Heating the coal produced the town gas that was used by Victorians to light gas lamps and, if homeowners could afford it, fuel gas cookers and heat baths. It was during the later half of the 19th century that using gas at home really took off in towns and cities.

After the discovery of North Sea oil and gas reserves, the need for gasworks rapidly diminished.

In 1949, the Clarendon Road Gasworks site was passed onto the North Thames Gas board but it was closed in 1957 owing to its small size. Gas Holder No.2 was dismantled before 1970, leaving the two remaining gas holders.