Barking Power Station

Object number

LDVAL 2005.17.1


Framed and glazed professional coloured photograph of Barking Power Staion from across Dagenham Breach. Commissioned for advertising purposes.

King George V opened the coal-fired Barking Power Station in 1925 although it had been running for some months before this official ceremony. It was built to provide electricity for a large part of Essex as well as for part of Kent and, by the time its four separate sections were completed, it was the largest steam powered station in Europe with a total output of some 100 megawatts of electricity. This electricity was fed into the National Grid for general consumption.

The site, where River Road, Barking, meets the Thames, was chosen because it was easily accessible for the constant stream of coal ships bringing deliveries.

With the decline in coal-produced electricity, the Station started a redundancy programme in the 1970s and finally closed in November 1981. The buildings were then demolished.

Today, a new Barking Power Station exists, sited in Chequers Road, Dagenham, beside the Breach. Construction started in March 1992 and it took 2000 people three years to build. The Station was commissioned in 1995.

This was the first independent power project in southeast England to operate within the newly privatised electricity industry and was the first large generating station to be built in Greater London for more than 30 years. Run by Thames Power, a company jointly owned by Atco Power and Balfour Beatty, the plant is gas-fired and uses advanced combined-cycle technology. This enhances fuel efficiency and reduces emissions by utilising the heat recovered from the gas turbine to power a steam turbine to generate more electricity.

Running 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, the Station has a 1000 megawatt output with one of the best environmental records in Europe and provides more than 20% of London's peak need or over one-third of its annual consumption.

Conditions governing reproduction

NOT vhm

Physical description

Large mounted, glazed and framed colour photograph showing the Barking Power Station Visitors Centre in the centreground. 3/4s of the foreground, from the left hand side, is taken up with the waters of Dagenham Breach. The final quarter, on the right hand side, has a grassy bank, reeds and a willow tree. The top half of the photograph is taken up with a clear blue sky, and in the foreground are out-of-focus branches of a willow tree, which frame the view.






Whole length: 561mm
width: 505mm
Depth: 18mm


Frame: Metal
Glazing: Plastic
Mount: Card
Photograph: Paper

Collection type

Social history

Alternative reference

Entry Number 1631 (2005-08-30)

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InstitutionValence House Museum
Collection typeSocial history