Documents relating to the initiative to save the London Coal Exchange from demolition


The London Coal Exchange was situated on the north side of Thames Street in the City of London, almost opposite the Old Billingsgate Market, and occupied three different structures between 1770 and 1962. The original coal exchange opened in 1770. A second building, dating from 1805, was replaced by a new purpose-built facility constructed between 1847 and 1849, and opened by Prince Albert on 30 October 1849. This third London Coal Exchange was one of the first substantial buildings to be constructed from cast iron, and was built several years before the hall at the Great Exhibition. The building suffered damage during the Second World War, and ceased to be used as a coal exchange. It was slated for demolition, which sparked campaigns and protests during which alternative solutions were proposed. These were ultimately unsuccessful, and the building was demolished in 1962 to enable widening of what is now Lower Thames Street.

The documents relate to the final stages of the battle to save the building, and illustrate public perception and divisions of opinion in the 1960s with respect to the preservation of industrial heritage.


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