Imperial Wharf, Hammersmith & Fulham
‘The ultimate riverside destination’ – according to its creators – situated in the Sands End district of Fulham and separated by a railway line from Chelsea Harbour
In 1824 the Imperial Gas Light and Coke Company acquired the Sandford manor house estate and began producing gas here in 1829. Barges brought coal to the site, which expanded hugely over the following decades.
By the middle of the 19th century Imperial was London’s leading gas company. A merger in 1876 created the even larger Gas Light and Coke Company, which continued to gobble up Sands End, causing distress to neighbouring market gardeners who were still trying to grow fruit and vegetables on the increasingly polluted soil.
The company stopped up old rights of way, paying generous compensation to the council, and laid out its own Imperial Road and Imperial Square.
Partly to thwart wage demands by local workers, large numbers of Germans were employed here until the outbreak of the First World War. Further growth between the wars forced Macfarlane Lang’s Imperial Biscuit Works to leave Townmead Road for a cleaner site.
With the advent of North Sea gas in the 1970s the gasworks closed down and car breakers later occupied much of the site.
At the turn of the 21st century, property developers St George began to build an extensive estate of luxury apartment blocks and town houses, with shops, cafés, restaurants and 10 acres of landscaped parkland. The scheme also included provision for affordable housing.
The developers provided a new station on the London Overground, which opened in 2009.