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Iconic Oval Cricket Gasholder Listed

The iconic Victorian gasholder that is the backdrop to test cricket at The Oval is now listed at Grade II.

Gasholder No.1, which stands next to the world famous cricket ground in Kennington, London, will be protected for future generations following advice from Historic England.

Designed by the eminent engineer, Sir Corbet Woodall, Gasholder No.1 was the world’s largest when it was built in 1847. It was later rebuilt in 1879 ahead of the first test match at The Oval in 1880.

General view across the Oval cricket ground during a match towards the gasholder just outside the ground.
No.1 Gasholder, Kennington Lane Gasholder Station, London Borough of Lambeth. Built in 1877-79. Listed at Grade II. NHLE List Entry Number: 1427396 © Jguk via Wikimedia Commons

David Evennett, Heritage Minister, said:

"A lot of cricket fans will recognise this structure which provides an iconic backdrop to a world-famous cricket ground. It is also an important part of London’s Victorian history which is why I’m very pleased it will be protected for years to come."

Gasholders have formed a part of Victorian London’s skyline for over 200 years, when the UK relied on gas power for energy.

Gasholder No.1 is an early example of the use of wrought-iron to construct the gasholder guide frame, which allowed the holder to double its capacity.

Emily Gee, Head of Designation at Historic England, said:

Gasholder No 1 at Kennington was the world’s largest gasholder when it was built in 1877-9. It also made early use of wrought iron in a frame and so marks an important moment in gasholder technology. Furthermore, it provides a distinctive backdrop to the Oval cricket ground and its image has long been broadcast around the world.

We consider our industrial heritage very carefully, and must be rigorous when assessing these once ubiquitous, now redundant holders for listing. It is unlikely that many more will be listed, but we are delighted that this special one is now listed at Grade II.

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