Gas Retort House
The Gas Retort House ( grid reference SP062865 ) at 39 Gas Street, Birmingham, England is the last remaining building of Birmingham's first gas works. It was rediscovered in 1992 during a proposed redevelopment of land on Gas Street when the city planning department noticed the unusual roof design of cast iron trusses and wrought iron rods.

Following a tender in 1816 by the Street Commissioners for the provision of gas street lighting the only respondent, John Gosling of London, was engaged to supply 10 streets. He formed the Birmingham Gas Light and Coke Company and built his first works on Gas Street in 1817-18 using gas plant installed by Samuel Clegg, the first expert in gas engineering. Clegg was apprenticed to William Murdoch at the Boulton and Watt Company and in 1813 was the first engineer at the Chartered Gas Light and Coke Company, building the first public gas works in Westminster. The retort house, the place where the town gas was manufactured by heating coal in the absence of air, was built next to the canal in 1822 to replace the original Clegg plant together with a new gasometer (storage tank) and coal store. It was designed by Alexander Smith. The works closed in 1850, retaining the four 52 foot gasometers, which were fed by other factories. The whole site closed in 1879 following Joseph Chamberlain's 1875 municipalisation of the Birmingham gas companies. The building was refurbished in 1998-9 by Richard Johnson & Associates as a non-residential office, leisure or workshop space, along with neighbouring flats. It is a Grade II* listed building.