London Gasholders

I was in London yesterday, but due to travel back to Yorkshire from King’s Cross when Judith’s blog Beyond the Window Box tumbled into my in-box. She’d been exploring the area round the station, just alongside Regent’s Canal, and found some gasholders…..

As a child, these fascinated me.  Those circular cast iron skeletons, housing storage cylinders which telescoped up and down depending on how much gas they contained were a source of wonder to me.  Though assertively industrial, they were graceful too, rising above the narrow terraced houses and the factories and trades which grew up alongside them. But ‘Gasworks Street’ was nobody’s idea of a smart address.

The King’s Cross gasholders in their workaday world.

How things change.  Gasholders London is a site transformed from its dirty, workaday past into a smart desirable residential quarter.  All but one of the gasholders now contain not gas cylinders, but luxury apartments.  The remaining one has become a small  park with a gleaming reflective canopy with grass beneath.

Nobody seems to want to hide the area’s busy industrial past.  The über-smart shopping quarter, just being developed on the site of the cobbled streets and railway sidings where coal from the North of England was received and sorted is called Coal Drops Yard.

Gasholders London, seen from the Regent’s Canal.

Round here, if you need to know the price, you can’t afford it.  A hundred and fifty years of dramatic social change.

Click on any image for a closer view.


Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

16 thoughts on “London Gasholders”

    1. I somehow guessed that was your part of town. I’m not sure how. Maybe you should show me your local sights some other time when I have a train to catch and two hours spare!


  1. It’s fascinating how these areas gets reclaimed, made posh, and given a whole new life. We were in Boston a couple weeks ago and the Uber driver was telling us the same thing about the part of town we were driving through. I’ve never seen the gasholder structures before–were they just a London thing, do you know?

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  2. Some great photos of the area. I enjoyed seeing the views through your eyes and camera. Hope the exploration didn’t make you miss your train!

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    1. It was fine. I’d allowed myself plenty of time. I love my spare couple of hours in the area when I can’t really be elsewhere ‘doing’ an exhibition. I fossick around in the British Library and all the back streets and really enjoy discovering Secret London. Your blog post was so very opportune. Thanks!

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  3. Fossick is a marvellous word! I must do more fossicking of my own! In the meantime, I love this creative reinvention of those iconic structures. As a child it seemed they were everywhere: huge and ugly and brooding. These conversions seem filled with light and reflections.

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  4. Thank you for the introduction to Judith’s gorgeous blog. I like the use to which these gas-holders have been put. When I saw, a few years ago, that all gas-holders had been granted a Grade II status, I wondered what on earth we would do with all these empty structures. This is a costly enterprise but don’t those holders look smashing?

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    1. I’m glad you like Judith’s blog. I love it. Yes, the gasholders look wonderful – more so in real life than in my photos. We have a solitary gasholder in Harrogate. It languishes on a fenced in site, and nothing happens…..

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  5. These flats and the general streetscape look amazing. However I am old enough to remember the smell and don’t think I could ever live in one. We marched against Brexit at the weekend along with many tens of thousands of others; hot but invigorating.

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  6. How interesting. Nice melding of old and new. I think that good shots like these of architecture are difficult to achieve. Am trying to imagine what shape the apartments and rooms inside the round structures are like. Perhaps each apartment is the shape of a slice of pie? Perhaps there is an elevator or spiral staircase up the central core of each tower? ☺

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