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5.3 Buildings of Townscape Merit

A number of unlisted buildings in the Conservation Area have been identified as “Buildings of Townscape Merit”. These are well detailed examples of mainly mid-late 19th century houses or commercial premises which retain their original detailing. As such, they make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, and any proposals to alter or demolish such buildings will be strongly resisted by the Council (see Policy EQ13 of the UDP of 1995). Together, these buildings provide the cohesive and interesting historic townscape which is necessary to justify designation as a Conservation Area.

The Princess of Wales Public House, Lea Bridge Road

The Princess of Wales Public House is a prominent building in views along Lea Bridge Road and along the River Lea. The current building dates from 1920 when the Prince of Wales Public House was rebuilt. It is well detailed building which retains many of its original features, and remains in use a pub.

Figure 22 The Princess of Wales Public House, Lea Bridge Road

Figure 23 The Ship Aground Public House(to the left, with the former carbonic acid gas works to the centre and right)

The Ship Aground Public House, 144 Lea Bridge Road

Like the adjacent Prince of Wales Public House, The Ship Aground is a well detailed late C19th public house. It is stucco fronted with its roof hidden behind a parapet. It too retains many of its original features, and remains in use a pub, although its position, being set back from the main road, is less prominent than that of the Prince of Wales.

Former Carbonic Acid Gas Works, 142 Lea Bridge Road This complex of industrial buildings was formerly used as a carbonic acid gas works, and subsequently used as a furniture works. Given its location on the former Lea Bridge Dock and the presence of glass bottle works on adjacent sites, it is likely that the works was used to create carbonated drinks. Dr Joseph Priestley, the creator of the first drinkable manmade glass of carbonated water in 1767, was resident in Hackney from 1792-1794, although a link with this building has not been proved. A plaque marks the site of Dr Priestley's residence, now occupied by 113 Lower Clapton Road.

The former carbonic acid gas works comprises of a front office block and a rear range of works buildings, along with two, prominent well detailed chimneys.

Figure 24 Former Carbonic Acid Gas Works (view along Otley Terrace)

Figure 25 Former Carbonic Acid Gas Works, front block

The front block appears to have been constructed as offices for the complex. It is a well-detailed brick building of three storeys plus a mansard roof. It has a main entrance to Lea Bridge Road and an ornate brick side entrance leading into the open yard. The yard between the office block and the range of rear works buildings has a cobbled surface and contains significant traces of inset iron rails for trolleys, used to move goods around the works, and presumably to load and unload goods from the adjacent Lea Bridge Dock.

The rear block is an important survival of the industrial heritage of the River Lea. It has an ornate gable facing Lea Bridge Road, with terra cotta detailing, and a handsome chimney. To the rear, running along Otley Terrace, the complex has a taller element, which presumably housed machinery or tanks for liquid. The whole rear complex has well detailed, original wrought and cast iron windows.

To the rear of the C19th complex is a group of lower industrial buildings which were constructed in 1935, for use as a furniture works.

Figure 28 Former Carbonic Acid Gas Works, gable detail with chimney to right

132-140 Lea Bridge Road

This row of late C19th houses is similar in style to the block to the front of former carbonic acid gas works to the east, with which it forms a coherent group. It is a well detailed, unified, brick terrace of three storeys which retains its original sashes and many of its original features.

Figure 29 132-140 Lea Bridge Road

leabridge.org.uk December 2012