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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2558/GJ/04
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1835-1907
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 12.83 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Grand Junction Waterworks Company


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Grand Junction Water Works Company was incorporated in 1811 to exercise the water supply rights vested in the Grand Junction Canal Company by virtue of their Act of 1798. The original source of supply was the canal itself which was fed by the rivers Colne and Brent. Following an agreement between the Grand Junction and Regent's Canal companies and the water company for an exchange of water, an intake and pumping station by the Thames were constructed for the water company in 1820. The intake pipe for drawing water from the river was unfortunately laid almost opposite the mouth of the Ranelagh sewer (or Westbourne Brook). This was pointed out in a pamphlet called "The Dolphin" in 1827. This caused a considerable outcry and a campaign led by Sir Francis Burdett, M.P. for Westminster, resulted in the appointment of the first Royal Commission to inquire into the quality of the water to be supplied by the metropolitan water companies. It was not until 1835, however, that powers were granted to open a new intake at Brentford, near Kew Bridge. A pumping station there containing a beam engine by Maudslay, and a thirty inch main five and a half miles long to carry the water to Paddington were completed in 1838. This was the first long trunk main to be laid by any of the companies.

The Paddington works were abandoned in 1845 when a new reservoir was completed on Campden Hill, Kensington. In the same year slow sand filtration on similar lines to that used at the Chelsea waterworks was introduced at the Kew Bridge works.

In conformity with the Metropolis Water Act of 1852 the company again moved their intake, this time to Hampton where deposit reservoirs and a pumping station were completed in 1855. Additions were made to the Hampton works during the remainder of the century and in 1882 the company began to filter part of the supply there, thus relieving the Kew Bridge works.

A large open reservoir for filtered water was inaugurated on Hanger Hill, Ealing, in 1888. Acts of 1852, 1861 and 1878 enlarged the area of supply and by the turn of the century the company's boundary stretched from Mayfair to Sunbury.

In 1904 the functions of the Grand Junction Water Works Company were assumed by the Metropolitan Water Board following the Metropolis Water Act 1902.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Grand Junction Waterworks Company relating to water supply and distribution, including water supply agreements; laying on books; meter agreements; meter readings; fire report books; water rentals books; pipes records; examination of mains books; papers relating to alterations to pipes and fittings; meter charges; supply and engineering records.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Within each company the records are divided as follows:
A (1) Corporate Records - including board minutes, parliamentary and legal papers.
B (2) Accounting Records - these are usually very extensive but do not include stocks and shares records which appear in section A.
C (3) Staff Records.
D (4) Water Supply and Distribution Records - including engineering and technical files.
E (5) Purchase Records - including stock books.
F (6) Property Records - many property matters are however dealt with in the legal papers in section A.
G (7) Miscellaneous Records.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1988, as part of a larger accession of records from Thames Water.

Allied Materials

Related material:

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:
November 2009 to February 2010

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