East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference Back for 2023

For the first time since 2019 the East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference is returning as an in-person event on the 17th June. The venue will be the Old Gasworks, in the Derbyshire village of Sudbury. This was opened in 1875 and was designed by George Devey, a noted architect of the time. EMIAC 2023 will be one of the first chances to see the gasworks in its new guise, learn about the development of artificial lighting and its use on country house estates, and the extensive improvements made to Sudbury Hall and the village in the 19th Century.

Gas was produced from coal at the plant and piped to provide lighting for Sudbury Hall and houses in the village. The gasholder was dismantled in the 1930s and the building stood empty and deteriorated for many years. Ten years ago, people from the village came together to form a building preservation trust to save the gasworks. Grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Association for Industrial Archaeology and other sources, enabled the restoration of the the original retort house, whilst a new circular meeting room has been constructed on the footprint of the former gasholder.

The architects and volunteers involved in the project will describe the challenges they faced to restore the building and make it into valuable community asset during the conference. Speakers on the day will include freelance industrial archaeologist Dr Ian West and architectural historian Cherry Ann Knott.

Further details of the event and a link to book places are available online at:

New Resources from Historic England on the Industrial Heritage of the Gas Industry

Gas holders near Kings Cross, London. Image courtesy of Historic England.

A new Historic England web page provides links to a recently published detailed history of the manufactured gas industry with a comprehensive gazetteer, an Introduction to Heritage Assets document, and guidance on recording gas works and holders.

The works for the manufacture of town gas from coal were once widespread in the 19th and 20th centuries, and their distinctive gas holders are some of the most recognisable historic industrial structures in Britain. These manufacturing sites produced lighting and energy for industry, as well as providing domestic lighting, heating, and energy for cooking. Visually, gas works dominated the skylines of many villages, towns, and cities until the end of the 20th century.

To explore this extensive resource further follow this link: