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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): HLCS
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1860-1941
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.63 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Havering Level Commission of Sewers


Administrative/Biographical history:

Early Commissioners of Sewers were solely concerned with land drainage and the prevention of flooding, not with the removal of sewage in the modern sense. In 1531 an Act of Sewers was passed which set out in great detail the duties and powers of Commissioners and governed their work until the 19th century. Gradually a permanent pattern emerged in the London area of seven commissions, five north and two south of the Thames, with, after the Great Fire, a separate commission for the City of London. The London commissioners had more extensive powers than those in other parts of the country; they had control over all watercourses and ditches within two miles of the City of London as well as newly constructed drains and sewers. After 1800 the London commissioners also obtained powers to control the formation of new sewers and house drains.

The jurisdiction of the Havering Level Commission of Sewers covered Ilford, East Ham, Havering, Dagenham, West Ham, Leyton, Walthamstow and Barking. A 'Level' in this context is a stretch of land approximately horizontal and unbroken by elevations.


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters patent appointing Commissioners, 1860; volume of presentments with schedules of owners and occupiers of property, 1860; Minutes of the Commissioners, 1894-1934; deeds of grant and agreements allowing construction or maintenance work to take place, 1886-1941; surveys and plans, 1721-1858, including surveys of Dagenham, Barking and East Ham Levels by James Bermingham, ordered by the Commissioners of Sewers, 1735-1742, "plan of Lands in the Valley of the River Roding over which it is proposed to extend the jurisdiction of the Commissioners", 1854 and maps of Wicklands Level, Westbury Level and Little West Marsh, 1858.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

HLCS/1: Letters Patent; HLCS/2: Presentments; HLCS/3-10: Minutes; HLCS/11-22: Deeds and agreements; HLCS/23-34: Surveys and Plans.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

For further records relating to sewers in London please see MCS: Metropolitan Commission of Sewers; PCS: Poplar Commission of Sewers; SKCS: Surrey and Kent Commission of Sewers; THCS: Tower Hamlets Commission of Sewers; WCS: Westminster and Middlesex Commission of Sewers; NSJSB: North Surrey Joint Sewage Board; O/080 and O/160: Westminster Commission of Sewers; ACC/2766: Crossness Pumping Station; GCS: Greenwich Commission of Sewers; HLCS: Havering Level Commission of Sewers; HFCS: Holborn and Finsbury Commission of Sewers; RMSB: Richmond Main Sewerage Board; STKCS: Saint Katherine's Commission of Sewers; WVA: Wandle Valley Main Drainage Authority and MBW: Metropolitan Board of Works. For the City of London see CLA/006: City of London Commissioners of Sewers.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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