Nearest Tube: Beckton Park
Unlike many parts of London, this area of east London is a relatively new district dating only from the 19th century.
It was initially developed after the Gas Light and Coke Company opened here in 1870. This company soon covered over 500 acres and had its own piers, railway and factories, making it the largest of its kind in Europe.
The Governor of the company was Simon Adams Beck, and the district takes its name from him. Unusually for its era, the company was very philanthropic and provided churches and housing for its employees.
The company closed its gas manufacturing plants in 1969, but other parts of the company remained. The area's second largest industry is sewage treatment, and Beckon is home to the largest sewage treatment works in Europe.
With such a strong industrial heritage, Beckton did not have a significant amount of housing until the 1880s when a major housing estate was built to accommodate the workers in the newly opened Royal Albert Dock.
Since then several other large housing estates have been built. Most recently Beckton has been part of the London Docklands Development Scheme, and the district is home to the largest housing development in that Scheme.
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