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Carbonic Works

142 Lea Bridge Road (Carbonic acid gas works)




Date or period


Current Designation

Lea Bridge Conservation Area, building(s) of townscape merit. Archaeological Priority Area.

Group Value

Group value with the Lea Bridge Dock, the Ship Aground and the Lea Bridge Dock Entrance Bridge.





Future Conservation

After further detailed research, possibly consider local listing on the basis of group value.

A series of linked commercial buildings of varying forms heights and eras.The main building with ornate ‘dutch scroll’ gabled pediment faces Lea Bridge Road and has terra cotta detailing, original wrought or cast iron window frames and a square section chimney with white or glazed brick banding to the right hand side.

To the left hand side, a single storey brick shed with iron window frames and slate roof once formed the edge of Lea Bridge Dock.

A taller building faces onto Otley Terrace and may have housed machinery, possibly a pumping engine.

The front block, probably an office block, is a well-detailed brick building of three storeys plus a mansard roof now in residential use with the larger part of the rear elevation rebuilt. There are two ornate entrances, one to the front and the other to the side.

The yard has a cobbled surface with inset iron rails laid in a radial pattern; possibly to guide trolleys or lifting machinery such as a crane.

This complex of buildings was formerly used as a carbonic acid gas works, and subsequently used as furniture works.

It has been suggested (see chronology) that, given its location on the former Lea Bridge Dock and the presence of glass bottle works on adjacent sites, it is possible that the works were 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 proven. A plaque marks the site of Dr Priestley’s residence, now occupied by 113 Lower Clapton Road.

Early 19th Century. Maps indicate an original range of buildings in an ‘L’ shape which may indicate earlier buildings or structures, or that the present buildings were remodelled or incorporated into the present buildings.

leabridge.org.uk December 2012