Bexhill’s Gasworks

In 1854, though the parish of Bexhill had been included in the statutory area of the Hastings and St Leonard’s Gas Company, there was no attempt made to supply the village with gas.

Lord De La Warr wanted to create the new resort of Bexhill-on-Sea without any restrictions being placed on his plans by such as the Hastings and St. Leonard’s Gas Company so he obtained “Bexhill Water and Gas Act”, which repealed the powers by that Company, over the Bexhill area. This enabled a new Bexhill company to be created and built in Ashdown Road, on the De La Warr Estate.

It was from these new works that gas was first supplied to the growing new town, in the autumn of 1887 – the streets were first lighted by this gas, in September the following year.

Unfortunately, the naturally unsightly looks of a gas works, coupled with the smell, in Ashdown Road had a negative effect on future development to the east of the De La Warr Estate. The hoped-for high-class residents showed little interest in buildings in that direction so expansion continued to the west.

At the turn-of-the-century, it was proposed to abandon the Ashdown Road gasworks and take the supply from the Glyne Gap gasworks which were being built by the Hastings and St Leonards Company.

This gave many advantages as these new, much larger works could supply a greater amount of gas and were sited just inside the Bexhill boundary, which would avoid high coal charges being paid to the Hastings Corporation and keep the money within Bexhill.

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