South Suburban Gas Works, Bell Green, Sydenham, c. 1910


Potential gas companies began to consider the Sydenham area in the 1840s after the opening of the railway had led to a significant increase of population. But it was the news that the Crystal Palace was to move to Sydenham that galvanised them into action.

Companies were established in 1852 and 1853, and emalgamated as the Crystal Palace District Gas Company in 1854.

This helped to speed the development of the district as a whole, though in the immediate vicinity of the gas works at Bell Green the effect was to prevent the building of quality housing, and to produce one of Sydenham's few slums.

The gas works today is considerably reduced in size, the site partly occupied by a superstore.

See historic maps of Sydenham