Windsor Street Gasholders

National Grid has an on-going nationwide programme to dismantle unused gasholders.

The three gasholders at our Windsor Street site had not been in use since 2012. Dismantling the gasholders was the first step in bringing the site back into beneficial use. We appointed our specialist contractor, DSM, to undertake the work which was  completed in November 2022.

Gas production started at the Windsor Street Gasworks in the 1840s and the site was acquired by the Birmingham Corporation in the 1880s to enable expansion of the gasworks. The gasholders at the site dated from 1885, where they  remained a feature of the Aston skyline . Famously they were  painted in the Aston Villa Football Club colours and were the last remaining gasholders in Birmingham.

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We recognise that gasholders are a part of our industrial heritage and undertake historical recording at all our gasholder sites, including Windsor Street. The Windsor Street site has been associated with the gas industry since the 1880s when it was acquired by the Birmingham Corporation to enable the extension of the Windsor Street Gasworks. The gasworks once housed 11 gasholders and when the twin gasholders were built in 1885, they were the largest in the world. By 1928 the gasworks had become the largest gasworks owned by the Birmingham Corporation, occupying an area of 26 acres, and it remained in operation until the late 1980s.

As the Windsor Street gasholders were the last in Birmingham, we commissioned Professor Russell Thomas to produce a booklet on the history of the gas industry in Birmingham.

A history of the gas industry in Birmingham

We have also worked with him to produce a booklet specifically about the Windsor Street site.

Windsor Street Gasworks

Birmingham Heritage Week

Birmingham Heritage Week is an 11 day city-wide festival that celebrates Birmingham’s rich and diverse heritage. National Grid were proud to offer two events in the 2021 programme.

Thinktank Science Museum

The final part of the project was to donate a piece of the gasholders to Thinktank and the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.

One of the connecting plates that joined the “twin” gasholders 13 and 14 was donated to form the centerpiece of an exhibition.

Weighing in at around 400kgs and painted one side claret and one side blue, it sits alongside a pair of waders worn by one of the site workers who had to carry out the messy task of removing sludge from the base of the gasholders during their dismantling.

The exhibition was launched on 8 December 2022 and you can watch a short film of the opening below.

Capturing stories

Heritage is not just about buildings and infrastructure, it is about people. The gas industry has played a huge role in generations of families’ lives and still does today. This social history is important to pass on to future generations and our Capturing Stories project aims to do just this. 

Capturing Stories is National Grid’s commitment to seek out and record the lived experience of the gas industry. These digital recordings will be used to supplement our growing archive of physical and technical heritage information. 

The recordings are of stories locked away in the memories of those who worked on former gas manufacturing sites, gas industry employees and of people who remember their local gasworks being operational.  

These stories are recorded in the form of podcasts and videos and you can explore them at capturing stories

Aston Villa FC

The Windsor Street gasholders were painted in the club colours of Aston Villa in the 1990s. You can find out how this came about by visiting our Capturing Stories page for Windsor Street.

Claret and a blue pieces of the gasholders were donated to the club at the end of the dismantling works.


As the final gasholders in Birmingham were dismantled, we commissioned local historical education specialists Mrs History to work with two local primary schools close to the site. Groups of children from St Matthew’s C of E and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary Schools went on a local history walk followed by classroom workshops.

Dismantling work

The dismantling work was successfully completed in November 2022. Below are two timelapse videos of the project.

Gasholder No.12:

Gasholder No.13 & 14: