Esoteric London

No. 656: Carting Lane, WC2

Posted in Drains, Street Furniture by esotericlondon on September 3, 2012

Carting Lane, London, WC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

The Suburban Homes of London: A Residential Guide to Favorite London Localities, Their Society, Celebrities, and Associations – William Spencer Clarke, 1881:

At Turnham Green, close by the railway station, an important building enterprise is in progress on the Bedford Park estate, the architect being Mr. R. Norman Shaw. Some two hundred houses are erected, at rentals varying from £40 to £120 per annum. Several valuable suggestions of Dr. Richardson are being carried out on this estate, which also offers a club for the use of the residents. The projectors state in their prospectus, ‘It is believed that this estate represents the first endeavour to secure, in the erection of houses at  moderate rents, good construction, with attention to artistic effect, coupled with most complete sanitary arrangements, both in their drainage and perfect freedom from sewer gas.’

[ Take the steps down from Strand into Carting Lane and you should find this lamp glowing whatever the time of day. The Sewer Gas Destructor Lamp, of which this is the only example left in London, was patented by Joseph Webb in 1895. Although chiefly fueled by the mains supply of gas the lamp does incorporate a flue from the sewers enabling it to use methane for combustion, thereby keeping the highly explosive gas at a safe level within the sewer whilst also protecting the noses of Londoners from the gas’ noxious odour. R.D.]

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