Riverside South Bank west of the Tower -Morgan's Walk
Riverside South Bank west of the Tower - Morgan's Walk
Post to the East - Battersea West of the Park
Post to the south Battersea Old Town
This represents a tiny corner of this square which is on the south bank. It includes mainly part of a housing estate on an old industrial site
Morgan’s Walk Estate.
Morgan Crucible Company. In the 1930s–50s the Morgan Crucible Company’s works took up 1,000ft of river bank. The six Vaughan Morgan brothers began in 1850 with the acquisition of the City firm of druggists’ sundries and ironmongery. They handled crucibles made of graphite, also called plumbago. They then opened a factory to make an American brand of crucible. They began on Garden Wharf (see below) but by 1872 had built a factory fronting on to Church Road with a large clock tower. They also took over other wharves to the east. They were now known as the Morgan Crucible Company. In the early 1900s they bought up the boatbuilding yard of the Thames Steamboat Company, Brunel’s sawmills (below), Phoenix Wharf in 1910, and also the old maltings site and eventually May and Baker (to the south). They also set up subsidiaries abroad to supply a growing world market. At Battersea they built large-scale reinforced-concrete factory buildings, by Lewis Rugg & Company of Westminster. On Church Road was a 257ft chimney erected by Holloway Brothers to designs by L. G. Mouchel & Partners. In 1967 they decided to transfer production to a factory at Norton, Worcestershire and in Swansea. The site was left vacant until Wates Ltd took the site over for housing which was built in 1984.
The Battersea Mural: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. This was by Brian Barnes and also known as”Morgan’s Wall”. It was designed in 1976 and then painted with a group of local residents 1976 - 1978. The 276-foot wide mural was demolished in 1979 by the Morgan Crucible Company.
Brunel’s sawmills and army boot factory. This evolved from Marc Brunel’s project for the Royal Navy at Portsmouth from 1802. He intended to set up his own factory to serve the merchant navy. Here was built a sawmill with boiler and engine house. The business did well He then diversified into the manufacture of boots for the army – using production line methods rather than cobblers. When peace came after the Battle of Waterloo there was no longer need for his boots with 80,000 pairs in stock. In 1814 the sawmill burnt down and were rebuilt. He then moved on to a decorative tinfoil business which again did well – but was widely copied. By 1821 he was in a debtor’s prison and the whole works was bankrupt.
Watson. Brunel’s sawmills were taken over by John & James Watson & Co., sawyers and veneer-cutters, who remained in business there until about 1849. The remains of Brunel’s buildings appear to have remained in use and to have eventually been demolished with the rest of the site in the 1970s.
City Steamboat Company. This had been set up in 1845 with a steamboat service between London Bridge and Chelsea and used the pier and dry dock here. By 1875 it was part of the London Steamboat Company and was bankrupt by 1888. It was then taken over by the Victoria Steamboat Association which operated throughout the Lower Thames and which commissioned new vessels. In 1897 this was itself taken over by Arnold Hills, ever happy to spend his father’s fortune, along with most of the Thames piers, as an independent steam boat service. This too failed following a dispute with the New London County Council.
The area known as Fords Folly appears to have been home to other crucible companies – for example, Tatnall in 1878 and Duncan Clark’s Vulcan Crucibles in 1882.
Condy’s Fluid Company . Henry Bollmann Condy was part of a business inherited a Battersea factory from Justus Bollmann. Resulting companies were Bollmann Condy and Co., Condy and Co., Condy Brothers and Co., Condy’s Fluid Co., and Condy and Mitchell Ltd. At first they made vinegar and later vitriol and disinfectant. Condy developed and patented "Condy's fluid" in 1857 which was used medically for various conditions including scarlet fever. This was made here till 1897 when the works was taken over by Morgan Crucible.
Philip Sandman. Sandman made vitriol here 1806–16. Speculatively he was a connection of the Perth based bleach company.
Bollman. In 1816 Justus Erich Bollman took over Sandman’s vitriol works where he made acids, pigments, and vinegar derivatives. Bollman was an adventurer who had spent many years n America and was involved in the refining of Platinum.
Foot & Co. They took over the Bollman works and made chemicals and colours there until the mid-1870s.
May and Baker They began as Grimwade, May & Pickett as suppliers to pharmacists of bismuth, camphor, ether and ammoniacal preparations. They were here 1841 - 1934 when John May and his two partners started a business manufacturing chemicals for pharmaceuticals. In 1839 May was joined by, William Garrard Baker - hence May and Baker. They May and Baker built a reputation for quality and eventually in 1889 it introduced its first drug, Sulphonal, a sedative. In the early 20th they were in an agreement with French, Poulenc Frères, to sell their products in the UK and were eventually owned by them. From 1928 this was Rhone-Poulenc. In the 1930s they developed the sulphonamide drugs and made then as well as anti-bacterials and anti-malarials, agrochemicals, photochemicals and fine chemicals. In 1934 they moved to Dagenham
E. Falcke & Sons They had been on this site from about 1823, when the Wilhelm Gottlob Falcke leased of land here. Morgan took the site over in 1856 as their first site here and were trading as the Patent Plumbago Crucible Company. They added new kilns, factory-warehouses, chimney shafts and a wharf wall
Bartlett School. Survey of London. Battersea. Web site
Clements. Marc Isambard Brunel
Clow. The Chemical Revolution
Endoplasm. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Hansard online. Web site
Info. Late Patrick Hills
Morgan Crucible Co. Battersea Works