Woodberry Wetlands: an Urban Wetland Reserve

Sluice mechanismEarly in 2015, AOC was commissioned to undertake a programme of historic building on behalf of The Wildlife Trusts Partnership at Woodberry Wetlands, an urban wetland reserve in London Borough of Hackney. The building recording focussed on two buildings; the Gas House on Lordship Road (below) and the Ivy Sluice Gate House (right), which spans the New River.

The buildings date from the 19th century and were built for water management, with the Gas House used first for storage and latterly for the chlorination process and the slightly earlier in date Ivy Sluice Gate House built to protect the mechanism that diverted the water.

Both houses were quite plain as would merit their utilitarian nature; however the Gas House is slightly more ornate, with a higher, segmental gable end and large stone tablet framed by pilaster or columns and a plinth with scrolls and a frieze with two wolf heads at the top. The wolf’s head is a part of Sir Hugh Middleton’s arms, founder of the New River.

Gas houseThe tablet states:

‘These Reservoirs the property of the New River Company were begun in the year 1830 and completed in the year 1833 under the direction of Mr William Chadwell Mylne their engineer, Robert Percy Smith Esqre Governor’.

The sluice is an excellent example of geared technology, intact and in very good condition.