The iconic gasholder guideframes have decorated the landscape at King’s Cross for over 150 years. Gasholder No.8 is the largest of these, and was built for the storage of town gas for Pancras Gasworks, the largest gas works in London. Gas was manufactured here using coal from the Imperial Gas, Light and Coke Company.
The Grade II listed structure was originally constructed in the 1850s and expanded in 1883.
The guideframe consists of 16 hollow cylindrical cast iron columns in two tiers and two levels of wrought iron riveted lattice girders. The distinctive 25 metre high circular guide frame has an internal diameter of over 35 metres. The gasworks remained in use until the late 20th Century before being decommissioned in 2000.
… and now
In 2011, the frame was painstakingly dismantled and refurbished by a specialist engineering firm in Yorkshire. In 2013 it returned to King’s Cross to be re-erected on the north side of Regent’s Canal overlooking Camley Street Natural Park and St Pancras Basin. Here sits in new landscaping with paths leading down to the canal towpath.
The frame itself houses a stunning new park and event space designed by Bell Phillips Architects. By day Gasholder Park is a place to play or pause and take in the view over the canal and Camley Street Natural Park. By night, subtle lighting transforms the park into a destination for events. Paths lead down to the canal towpath and in time, a new bridge over Regent’s Canal.