Facts about Beckton
Situated north and east of the Royal Docks, the area was formerly heavily industrialized and was the location of Beckton Gas Works, the largest gasworks in Europe, which served the capital. An adjacent by-products work also produced a wide variety of products including ink, dyes, mothballs, and fertilizers, all by-products of the process of turning coal to coke in the production of town gas.
An extensive toxic spoil-heap from the Gasworks was known ironically as ‘Beckton Alps’. Originally running from the Northern outfall sewer south to Winsor Terrace, this was landscaped in the 1980s. Part became a 25 meters high Artificial ski slope for a time, opened by Diana, Princess of Wales, with a viewing platform at the summit and a Swiss-style bar at the foot. However, the site is now derelict.
Beckton is a suburban district in East London, England, within the London Borough of Newham and is located 8 miles east of Charing Cross. Historically part of Essex, Beckton was unpopulated marshland adjacent to the River Thames until the development of major industrial infrastructure in the 19th century to support the growing metropolis of London.
Housing was created in Beckton for workers of the gas and sewage works. Between 1981 and 1995 it was within the London Docklands Development Corporation area, which caused the population to increase as new homes were built and the Docklands Light Railway was constructed.