Loquis: Coal Exchange

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Coal Exchange


Published on:  2020-04-29 09:24:00


It was situated on the north side of Thames Street in the City of London, nearly opposite to Old Billingsgate Market, occupying three different structures from 1770 to 1962. The original coal exchange opened in 1770. A second building from 1805 was replaced by a new purpose-built structure constructed from 1847 to 1849, and opened by Prince Albert on 30 October 1849. This third London coal exchange was one of the first substantial buildings constructed from cast iron, built several years before the hall at the Great Exhibition. It was demolished in 1962 to allow widening of what is now Lower Thames Street despite a campaign by the Victorian Society to save the building. Cast iron decorations from the 1849 Coal Exchange building were selected as the model for the dragon boundary mark for the main entrances to the City of London. Coal had been imported to London by sea since at least medieval times. By 1875, five million tons of coal were being brought to London each year by rail and three million tons by sea.

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