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Sewer Ventilation Column Number 27

A Grade II Listed Building in The Wrythe, Sutton

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3721 / 51°22'19"N

Longitude: -0.1676 / 0°10'3"W

OS Eastings: 527641

OS Northings: 165265

OS Grid: TQ276652

Mapcode National: GBR DD.BDV

Mapcode Global: VHGRK.1SR0

Plus Code: 9C3X9RCJ+RX

Entry Name: Sewer Ventilation Column Number 27

Listing Date: 22 April 2020

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1469056

Location: Sutton, London, SM5

County: Sutton

Electoral Ward/Division: The Wrythe

Built-Up Area: Sutton

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Summary


Sewer ventilation column on Wrythe Green of around 1896-1903, fabricated by W Macfarlane & Co for a sewerage scheme by Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) and one of a group of about 28 in Carshalton.

Description

A sewer ventilation column of 1896-1903, located on Wrythe Green, opposite 14-16 Green Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, LB Sutton. Manufactured by W Macfarlane & Co for a sewerage scheme by Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) and one of around 28 remaining in Carshalton.

MATERIALS: cast-iron

DETAILS: the sewer ventilation column is about 9m high and has a moulded base on a cylindrical pedestal and a Corinthian capital. The shaft of the column is constructed of two lengths of pipe linked with a flanged joint. Above the capital is an ornate arrow, possibly indicating the line of the sewer, or alternatively turning in the wind to orientate the vent efficiently. The arrow is surmounted by a ball with circular vents facing in all four directions and a tall finial encircled with a pierced coronet. There is no visible manufacture stamp, although a number of similar examples in Carshalton are marked with the name ‘W MACFARLANE & CO, GLASGOW’.

History

The Public Health Act of 1875 delivered legislation to help enable the construction of sewer systems across England in an era of rapidly expanding population. The former Carshalton Urban District Council funded a plan in 1896 which had been prepared by the engineer Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) of Victoria Street, Westminster. The first phase of the scheme was built between 1896 and 1900, with a southern extension added around 1903. The sewer ventilation columns for the scheme were constructed by W Macfarlane & Co, a renowned Glasgow-based ironwork foundry. Their function was to dispel the sewer odour high above the ground.

Baldwin Latham was a surveyor to the Croydon Board of Health from 1863 to 1870 and was later in private practice as an engineer. By the late C19 he had designed the sewerage, irrigation and water works for 15 English towns, including the schemes at Carshalton, Croydon, Birmingham, Harrow and Rugby. He is also cited as the engineer for the sewerage system in Bideford, Devon which included sewer ventilation columns, three of which are listed at Grade II. Latham was also the author of the publication ‘Sanitary engineering: a guide to the construction of works of sewerage and house drainage’ (1873).

It is not known how many sewer ventilation columns were erected in Carshalton, but around 28 survive.

Reasons for Listing

The sewer ventilation column on Wrythe Green of around 1896-1903, fabricated by W Macfarlane & Co for a sewerage scheme by Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) and one of around 28 remaining in Carshalton, LB Sutton, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
 
*  designed by the notable sanitation engineer Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) and constructed by the Glasgow-based foundry, W Macfarlane & Co, it is an impressive structure with good quality cast-iron mouldings and decoration;
 
* it survives well, retaining its key functional features;
 
* sewer ventilation columns were once a common feature of the street scene but original examples of this quality are increasingly rare.
 
Historic interest:
 
* as an example of the work of Baldwin Latham, the Victorian sanitation engineer who by the late C19 had designed the sewerage, irrigation and water works for 15 English towns including the schemes at Carshalton, Croydon, Birmingham, Harrow and Rugby.
 
Group value:
 
* as part of a group of around 28 sewer ventilation columns in Carshalton, that collectively demonstrate the scale of a Victorian sewer system.

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