CHIMNEY TO BECKTON SEWAGE WORKS

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1393160
Date first listed:
04-Mar-2009
Statutory Address:
CHIMNEY TO BECKTON SEWAGE WORKS, JENKINS LANE

Map

Ordnance survey map of CHIMNEY TO BECKTON SEWAGE WORKS
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Location

Statutory Address:
CHIMNEY TO BECKTON SEWAGE WORKS, JENKINS LANE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Newham (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 45147 81744

Reasons for Designation

The chimney at Beckton Sewage Works has been listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * architecturally special for its elegant tapering form and Egyptian-style cap; * designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette as part of improvements to the Northern Outfall of his London drainage network in 1887, in response to public health concerns; * it identifies Beckton as a Victorian industrial site; * a striking landmark in the landscape of East London, where the distinctive Greenway embankment (the original main drain) runs from the Grade II*-listed Abbey Mills pumping station to Beckton Sewage Works.

Details

EAST HAM

251/0/10090 JENKINS LANE 04-MAR-09 BECKTON Chimney to Beckton Sewage Works

II Chimney, 1887-9, by Sir Joseph Bazalgette for the Metropolitan Board of Works. Minor later alterations.

Originally one of two chimneys, this is a round, tapering brick structure with a limestone cap in an Egyptian design with fluting and a patterned frieze. There were once steps next to the chimney giving access to the inside but these have been covered or removed.

HISTORY: When the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) pioneered London's sewage system in the years from 1848, Beckton was designated as the drainage outfall for sewers north of the Thames, with equivalent works at Crossness serving the area south of the river. Built 1859-1868 to designs by Joseph Bazalgette, the new sewage system was one of the foremost engineering achievements of the Victorian era and included the construction of the Thames Embankment with a tunnel for the Underground, an extensive system of cross-metropolitan drains and a series of pumping stations, designed to remarkably high architectural and technical standards. North of the river, all of inner London's sewers met at Abbey Mills pumping station near Stratford, from where waste was pumped to a sufficient height to allow gravity to draw it away to Beckton. Here, waste was released untreated into the Thames at high tide, or stored in a reservoir at low tide. Beckton was at that time the ideal location for the Northern Outfall, as it was known, because it was quite far downriver from the capital and relatively uninhabited. In the two decades after the works opened in 1863, however, London expanded geographically and demographically. The volume of raw sewage being poured into the Thames, not even separated into liquid effluent and solid waste, increased and responsibility to remedy the problem fell to the MBW. Thus in 1887 Bazalgette designed sewage treatment works for Beckton comprising liming station and precipitation channels (to separate liquid from solid), settlement channels (to consolidate sludge), storage tanks and a jetty in the Thames (from which the solids were transported to be dumped out at sea; the cleansed liquid was discharged into the Thames). The pumping station at Crossness was adapted for this process at around the same time. The work was completed by 1889.

At the centre of operations on the Metropolitan Board of Works' Beckton site was the engine house, two boiler houses and two chimneys which powered the machinery involved in moving the sludge through the treatment process. In addition there was a workshop, attached to the engine and boiler houses, also dating to the 1887-9 phase of work. In the 1890s an overhead storage tank was built above the settlement channels and in the Edwardian period an additional boiler house was constructed; both likely responding to a need to increase capacity at the works.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The chimney at Beckton Sewage Works is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * architecturally special for its elegant tapering form and Egyptian-style cap; * designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette as part of improvements to the Northern Outfall of his London drainage network in 1887, in response to public health concerns; * it identifies Beckton as a Victorian industrial site; * a striking landmark in the landscape of East London, where the distinctive Greenway embankment (the original main drain) runs from the Grade II*-listed Abbey Mills pumping station to Beckton Sewage Works.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
506196
Legacy System:
LBS

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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