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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2558/LA/05
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1797-1905
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.05 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Lambeth Waterworks Company


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Lambeth Water Works Company was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1785 to supply the Parish of Lambeth and adjacent areas. The original Works, consisting of an intake and pumping station, occupied part of the Royal Festival Hall site.

As demand for water supply grew the company extended its works and in 1832 an open reservoir was completed at Streatham Hill. In 1834 the company built two further reservoirs containing rough filters at Brixton and pumping engines were installed to supply water to the higher areas. The works at Brixton became the company's main distribution station.

By 1847 the quality of the water supply opposite the Festival Hall site had deteriorated to such an extent that the company decided to promote a bill in Parliament to enable new works to be constructed at Long Ditton. In 1848 the bill was passed and the new works were inaugurated in 1852. The periodic incursion of flood water from the River Mole induced the company to draw its water from further up the river and in 1872 a new intake was opened at West Molesey, reservoirs being added there in 1874 and 1903.

By the end of the century the works at Brixton and Long Ditton had grown considerably and service reservoirs for filtered water had been constructed at Coombe (1864), Norwood (1877), Rock Hill (1857) and Selhurst (1861).

By another Act of 1900 the company were granted powers to construct a large storage reservoir at Island Barn, Molesey. This was eventually inaugurated in 1911 by the Metropolitan Water Board who had taken over the functions of the company in 1904, following the Metropolis Water Act, 1902.


Scope and content/abstract:

Further records of the Lambeth Waterworks Company, including Board papers; Secretary's reports; correspondence; legal papers; Parliamentary papers; contract papers; engineer's reports; inspector's reports; foreman's reports; papers relating to water supply; property records and staff 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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