Sewer ventilation column at the junction of Carshalton Road and Harrow Road

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1468365
Date first listed:
23-Apr-2020
Location Description:
At the junction of Carshalton Road and Harrow Road, Carshalton, LB Sutton, SM5 3QF

Map

Ordnance survey map of Sewer ventilation column at the junction of Carshalton Road and Harrow Road
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Location

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

Location Description:
At the junction of Carshalton Road and Harrow Road, Carshalton, LB Sutton, SM5 3QF
County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Sutton (London Borough)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ2720464248

Summary

Sewer ventilation column, of 1896-1903, constructed by W Macfarlane & Co to a scheme design by Baldwin Latham (1836-1917), and one of around 28 remaining in Carshalton.

Reasons for Designation

The sewer ventilation column at the junction of Carshalton Road and Harrow Road, Carshalton, LB Sutton, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

*  designed by the notable sanitation engineer Baldwin Latham (1836-1917), and constructed by the Glasgow-based foundry, W Macfarlane & Co, it is a tall and impressive structure with good quality cast-iron mouldings and decoration;   * it survives well, retaining its key functional features;   * sewer ventilation columns were once a common feature of the street scene, but original examples of this scale and quality are increasingly rare.   Historic interest:   * as an example of the work of Baldwin Latham, the Victorian sanitation engineer who by the late C19, had designed the sewerage, irrigation and water works for 15 English towns, including the schemes at Carshalton, Croydon, Birmingham, Harrow and Rugby.   Group value:   * as one of a group of around 28 sewer ventilation columns in Carshalton, that collectively demonstrate the scale of a Victorian sewer system.

History

The sewer ventilation columns at Carshalton were designed to dispel the odour from the area's sewer system, above the level of human habitation. The Public Health Act of 1875, delivered legislation to help tackle the sanitation requirements in an era of rapidly expanding population with schemes generally implemented by individual local authorities. The former Carshalton Urban District Council adopted one such plan in 1896, which had been prepared by the engineer Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) of Victoria Street, Westminster. The first phase of the scheme was built between 1896 and 1900, with a southern extension added around 1903. The sewer ventilation columns were constructed by W Macfarlane & Co, a renowned, Glasgow-based, ironwork foundry.

Baldwin Latham was a surveyor to the Croydon Board of Health from 1863 to 1870, and was later in private practice as an engineer. By 1868, he had designed the sewerage, irrigation and water works for 15 English towns, including the schemes at Carshalton, Croydon, Birmingham, Harrow and Rugby. He is also cited as the engineer for the sewerage system in Bideford which included sewer ventilation columns, three of which are listed at Grade II. Latham was also the author of the publication ‘Sanitary engineering: a guide to the construction of works of sewerage and house drainage’ (1873).

Presumably the sewer system in Carshalton has now been replaced or upgraded as most of the vents on the decorative sewer ventilation columns are now closed, and some are missing. It is not known how many columns were erected, but around 28 are still in place. The column at the junction of Carshalton Road and Harrow Road is unaltered from its original design.

Details

Sewer ventilation column, of 1896-1903, constructed by W Macfarlane & Co to a scheme design by Baldwin Latham (1836-1917), and one of around 28 remaining in Carshalton.

MATERIALS: cast-iron.

DESCRIPTION: the cylindrical sewer ventilation column is around 9m high. It is formed of two conjoined lengths of pipe, linked with a flanged joint and stands on a circular and decorative, moulded plinth. The top of the column is terminated by a Corinthian-type capital, above which sits the ventilation apparatus. It is topped by an ornate arrow (thought either to orientate the vent into the wind or to indicate the line of the sewer), a ball with four, projecting and circular vents, a filigree crown and a finial. There is no visible manufacture stamp, although a number of similar examples in Carshalton are marked with the name ‘W MACFARLANE & CO GLASGOW’.

Sources

Other
Insley, J, ‘Latham, Baldwin (1836-1917)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), (Available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/52328)
Newspaper article of 1897, announcing the construction of Carshalton sewer held at the London Borough of Sutton Archive, under reference LG4/711/5

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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