The historic coaling jetty outside Battersea Power Station, was the place where coal was unloaded from boats on the river Thames, and transported on a conveyor belt to the boiler room in Power Station. Today the coaling jetty is used for live music and pop-up events, film screenings, musical performances, and live entertainment. This post is all about the history of the coaling jetty, and what it’s used for today.
The History of the Coaling Jetty
The coaling jetty at Battersea Power Station was built between 1929 and 1932. It serviced the Power Station for fifty years, before it was decommissioned in 1983.
When it was in use, the coaling jetty played an important role in the Power Station’s operations. It received around 240 tonnes of coal an hour, that would arrive on ships from the coal ports of South Wales and the North-East.
The coal was unloaded using two 25 metre high jib cranes on wheels, that would lift the coal onto a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt would then transport the coal to the boiler room inside the Power Station.
This process of unloading and transporting the coal at the coaling jetty was crucial to ensure a constant supply of fuel for the Power Station’s boilers. When the coal arrived at the boilers, it was burned to produce steam. This steam drove turbines connected to generators, which produced electricity for London’s power grid.
The photographs below show what the coaling jetty looks like today.
Where Can You Find the Coaling Jetty?
The coaling jetty is found on the riverside walk in front of Battersea Power Station, next to Battersea Power Station Pier where the Thames Clippers stop. The nearest London Underground Station is Battersea Power Station on the northern line. The exact location of the jetty is shown on the map below.
What is the Jetty Used for Today?
If you visit the historic grade II listed coaling jetty, you will find food huts selling street food, a number of picnic benches, and an enchanting riverside garden.
The jetty has become a popular place for people to stop for lunch, since it has great views of Battersea Power Station, and a number of pop-up food trucks and huts.
In the photographs below, you can see there are picnic benches along the full length of the 133-metre long coaling jetty.
Since it opened to the public in 2019, the jetty has been used for a number of events including Summer Showtime which hosted an open-air cinema and theatre on the jetty. Some of the highlights included productions of Jane Eyre, Romeo & Juliet, Wind in The Willows, Beauty in the Beast and Three Little Pigs.
Events on the Jetty
When I visited the jetty, it was during The Battersea Games, which take place in July and August. Because of this, there was a place to play boules on the jetty (shown in the first photograph below).
The events that take place on the jetty change throughout the year, depending on the seasons. In the past they have had a summer garden party, jazz lates, a riverside wellness retreat, and English winemaking classes.
All the current events are listed on the events page on the Battersea Power Station website.
Posts Related to Battersea
If you are looking for things to do in Battersea, check out the posts below.
This Post was about the Coaling Jetty at Battersea Power Station
For 36 years the jetty at Battersea Power Station was in an area that was inaccessible to the public. After working in close partnership with Historic England and Wandsworth Council however, the Battersea Power Station Development Company were able to re-open the jetty, making it an extension of the riverwalk at Circus West Village. The area, which was once used for the unloading of coal, is today lined with picnic tables and huts selling delicious street food.