Gasometer, Church Road (now demolished),

Gas works built in 1832

The Brighton and Hove Gas Company was formed in 1825 and the gasworks were built in 1832. Designed by John Grafton, the company's engineer, the works were built on a site to the west of St Andrew's Old Church in Church Road, Hove. In 1871, the Hove site became a holder station rather than a gas manufacturer, following the completion of the Portslade Gasworks. A cast-iron trunk main connected the two sites.

The gas holder
An increase in the demand for gas soon exceeded the capacity of the four small holders in Hove and a larger gas holder was built in 1877 on the site of the old retort house. It was the first tank to be constructed of large concrete blocks set in cement to form a perfect circle, 154' in diameter and 40' deep, with a capacity of 1.5m cubit feet. Known as Number 8, the tank was in use until September 1994 when it was replaced by storage facilities at Worthing and Black Rock.

Redeveloping the site
Over the years, several plans have been proposed to develop the site, including a department store, a superstore, a covered mall, car parks and a new school. In June 2000, Beeleigh Developments announced a scheme to build a new Tesco supermarket and, at their own expense, to build a new school for St Andrew's to the north of the site. But a consultant's report said that the land was contaminated and the affected soil would have to be removed before construction could begin. It seems that even the much-loved flint wall in Church Road is contaminated and will have to be demolished

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

I attended Old Church Hove, St. Andrews for severel years, as a choir member, in the 50's. The flint stone surrounding the church set it apart as a special place, the garden of remembrance was a quiet place. We younger members of the choir were not always as respectful as we might or should have been. The church was staid and comfortable, Father Nichols, a minister who cared.
I remember the gasometer, and often wondered if maybe it would "blow up", but guess it did not.
There are many celebrities buried in the church yard.
I hope this church is NEVER demolished.

By Bonny Cother-Veronica Bentley (09/01/2007)

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