Historic England has published the latest in their Introductions to Heritage Assets series which in this case deals with Gasworks and Gasholders. The purpose of these documents is to provide an accessible, authoritative, illustrated summary of a particular type of heritage asset.
The new introduction sets out our understanding of coal gasworks and their attendant low-pressure gasholders (a prominent feature of all industrial towns in the 19th and 20th centuries). The focus of the document is on the building types and structures which survive in part or in full across England – gasholders, retort houses, purifier houses, meter and governor houses, laboratories, offices and showrooms – supported by a series of illustrations.
It provides a brief historical background and chronology of the development of the manufactured gas industry from its origins in the 1790s, through the formation of the industry (1800-1820), its subsequent expansion (1820- 1860), regulation (1860-1890), modernisation and rationalisation (1890-1949), nationalisation (1949) and adoption of natural gas (1949-1967). This is followed by an introduction to the process of manufacturing gas and summaries of the development of the various buildings (including gasholders) which were historically associated with gasworks. These summaries detail their function, construction, materials, main components, architectural treatment, and associated landscapes.
A copy of the introduction can be downloaded from here: https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/iha-gasworks-gasholders/