Wandsworth County Council chose William Sugg & Co. Ltd to restore the Grade II listed gas lamps in Tooting Broadway.  The historic gas lamps required extensive renovation to restore them to their original historic splendour.  Read the full case study here…

The customer

Wandsworth County Council recognised the importance of these lamps as an historic landmark in the area and as one of London’s earliest forms of street lighting.  The lamps were in a state of disrepair, and conservationists had been campaigning for their restoration for several years. The council was committed to preserving the heritage and cultural significance of the lamps while ensuring that they were restored to their original state. 

Wandsworth County Council sought expertise from William Sugg & Co. Ltd, as global leaders in heritage lighting and heritage lighting specialists, to carry out the refurbishment of the iconic gas lamps in Tooting Broadway.  Our extensive experience in heritage lighting and our reputation for delivering high-quality restoration work made us the obvious choice for this important project, which we were delighted to support.

The challenge

The council faced a daunting challenge of refurbishing the iconic gas lamps in Tooting Broadway which have been standing since the early 19th century. These lamps, which are Grade II listed, required extensive renovation to restore them to their original historic splendour. 

As one of London’s earliest forms of street lighting (and before the advent of electricity), gas lamps played a vital role in guiding Londoners through the capital’s dark streets. Although there are still around 1,500 functioning gas lamps in London, many of them have been awarded listed building status, including the ones in Tooting Broadway. 

The ornate cluster of five lamps is supported by a cast iron structure that also serves as a four-way signpost. The lamps are located near the Northern Line underground station and were once accompanied by the imposing statue of King Edward VII. The council turned to William Sugg, heritage lighting specialists, to undertake the challenging task of renovating these iconic lamps and restore them to their former glory.  The project required careful refurbishment of existing lanterns and columns, repair of disused gas elements and reinstatement of new fittings.  All of this was to take place in a busy area with high footfall and relatively heavy traffic.

“These lamps are an important part of Tooting’s heritage and we are lucky they have survived for so long. It is only right that they are preserved for future generations.”

Ravi Govindia, Council leader.

The solution/product

The restoration work was carried out with great care and attention to detail, with several elements taking place in the William Sugg factory in Horsham, West Sussex.

William Sugg’s skilled craftsmen and artisans utilised their extensive knowledge and expertise to carefully refurbish the existing lanterns and columns, repair disused gas elements, and reinstate new fittings.  The restoration process began with the careful removal of light fittings, followed by a total refurbishment of these fittings.

Throughout the restoration process, the team carried out the work with great care and respect for the lamps’ history, ensuring that their heritage was preserved.  The repair and reworking of the broken gas supply mechanisms was carried out with the utmost care and attention, ensuring that the restored lamps would be functional for many years to come.  Once all elements were appropriately repaired and tested, they were expertly reinstalled, and the gas supply connected in situ.  Several maintenance visits took place after the initial installation to ensure all was well.

A clear commitment to preserving heritage and cultural significance was demonstrated throughout the restoration process.  Attention to detail was critical to ensure that the restored gas lamps were in perfect working condition and ready to illuminate the streets of Tooting once again.

The results

The restoration of the Tooting Broadway gas lamps proved to be a great achievement, thanks to the expertise of William Sugg’s team of heritage lighting specialists. The lamps now shine brightly and serve as a testament to the rich heritage and culture of the area. 

The successful restoration of this historic landmark is an excellent example of Wandsworth County Council’s dedication to preserving cultural significance and heritage.  The completed works will allow the present residents of Wandsworth (over 327,000+ according to latest statistics), and visitors, to enjoy this wonderful feature in all its splendour.   The project’s completion also ensures that future generations will be able to appreciate this wonderful piece of history for many years to come.

“Every part of this street light from the column, brackets and lanterns appears original. Even friends who wouldn’t normally comment about street furniture have noticed this old relic, and have passed favourable comments.”

Simon Cornell, historical lighting enthusiast.

Below is an excellent video that goes through the history of Tooting, and includes footage of the newly refurbished gas lanterns.

To find out more about William Sugg’s bespoke refurbishment services, or to discuss an upcoming project, speak to one of our experts today

Tooting gas lamps in the press: 

 Photographs with kind permission as follows:

  • Historical photos courtesy of Tooting Newsie. Sourced from old photographs by Patrick Loobey, ISBN 0-7509-0722-3
  • Tooting Broadway gas lamps by night – © Andrew Holmes
  • “Tooting Gas Lamps Print Limited Edition” Original artwork courtesy of MaxBreesePrints on Etsy