William Lindley
William Lindley was a famous English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

 who together with his sons designed water
Water supply
Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

 and sewerage
Sanitary sewer
A sanitary sewer is a separate underground carriage system specifically for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings to treatment or disposal. Sanitary sewers serving industrial areas also carry industrial wastewater...

 systems for over 30 cities across Europe.


As a young engineer he worked together with Marc Isambard Brunel
Marc Isambard Brunel
Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, FRS FRSE was a French-born engineer who settled in England. He preferred the name Isambard, but is generally known to history as Marc to avoid confusion with his more famous son Isambard Kingdom Brunel...

 and Francis Giles
Francis Giles
Francis Giles was a canal engineer and surveyor who worked under John Rennie and later became a railway engineer-Works and appointments:...

. In 1834 he went to Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 as Giles' assistant to survey the railway route from Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

 to Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

. Few years later, in 1838, he was commissioned to build the Hamburg-Bergedorf Railway Company
Hamburg-Bergedorf Railway Company
The Hamburg-Bergedorf railway opened in 1842 is one of the oldest lines in Germany and was the first railway line in Northern Germany. The 16.5 km long line was extended to Berlin in 1846....

 , the first railway line which was carried out in northern Germany. The official opening had to be cancelled as a catastrophic fire in May 1842 left a third of the town in ruins. Lindley became member of the Technische Commission for the reconstruction of the town centre (with Alexis de Chateauneuf, Gottfried Semper
Gottfried Semper
Gottfried Semper was a German architect, art critic, and professor of architecture, who designed and built the Semper Opera House in Dresden between 1838 and 1841. In 1849 he took part in the May Uprising in Dresden and was put on the government's wanted list. Semper fled first to Zürich and later...

 etc.) and designed the first fundamental plan for the "Wiederaufbau". For the engineer, who had already been commissioned to design a new sewer system for Hamburg, the destruction was an opportunity to modernise the city.

His designs, influenced by English social reformer and public health inspector Edwin Chadwick
Edwin Chadwick
Sir Edwin Chadwick KCB was an English social reformer, noted for his work to reform the Poor Laws and improve sanitary conditions and public health...

, included the first underground sewers in continental Europe. Within three years 11 km of sewers had been built in Hamburg, and Lindley began work on a waterworks to supply the city with drinking water. In the following years he helped design and build water systems in a number of other German cities and towns such as Altona
Altona, Hamburg
Altona is the westernmost urban borough of the German city state of Hamburg, on the right bank of the Elbe river. From 1640 to 1864 Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was an independent city until 1937...

, Stralsund
- Main sights :* The Brick Gothic historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.* The heart of the old town is the Old Market Square , with the Gothic Town Hall . Behind the town hall stands the imposing Nikolaikirche , built in 1270-1360...

 and Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...


At Hamburg Lindley developed an increasing interest in urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

. In 1840 he was commissioned to drain the Hammerbrook marshes, east of the town centre of Hamburg. This drainage system, which was implemented by the construction of a grid of canals connected by locks with the Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 river (1842-47), provided the basis of the first modern suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

 at Hamburg, primarily as an industrial area. In 1855 he also designed an early master plan for the development of the areas west of the town centre. But as his design for the Hamburg harbour (1845, with James Walker
James Walker (engineer)
James Walker, FRS, was an influential Scottish civil engineer of the first half of the 19th century.Walker was born in Falkirk and was apprenticed to his uncle Ralph Walker in approximately 1800, with whom he gained experience working on the design and construction of the West India and East India...

 and Heinrich Hübbe) was used, the plan was not carried out.

Due to the reorganisation of the Hamburg building authorities he gave up his position as a consultant of the Baudeputation in 1860, and moved with his family to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, including his three young sons – William Heerlein Lindley
William Heerlein Lindley
Sir William Heerlein Lindley was a British civil engineer.One of three sons of the famous British engineer William Lindley, WH Lindley worked together with his father on a number of projects and was a respected engineer in his own right...

 (born 1853), Robert Searles Lindley (born 1854) and Joseph Lindley (born 1859). In 1863 he began work on the sewerage system of Frankfurt am Main, the benefits of which became apparent as between 1868 and 1883 the death rate from typhoid fell from 80 to 10 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Lindley's designs were in demand across Europe, and together with his sons he built systems for cities in Germany (including Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

) and elsewhere, including St. Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 and Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

. In 1876 the Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n city of Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 even asked him to design a sewer system for them, but he turned them down as he had just been commissioned by Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...


Between 1876 and 1878 he designed the Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 waterworks, which were constructed between 1881 and 1889 under the direction of his son, William Heerlein Lindley. To this day, there is a street in Warsaw named after him, which goes around the historical waterworks. Also named after the Lindleys' handiwork is "Filter Street" (ulica Filtrowa). As an interesting sidenote, the system that William Lindley designed for Warsaw is still operational, and the last sewer collector of his design was not replaced until 2001.


  • Lindley memorial is located in Hamburg near underground station Baumwall at the entrance to sewage system.
  • An exhibition to celebrate his 200th birthday took place from 2008-2009 in the hamburgmuseum
    The hamburgmuseum , also known as Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte , is a history museum located in the city of Hamburg in northern Germany. The museum was established at its current location in 1922, although its parent organization was started in 1839. The museum was named hamburgmuseum in 2006...

    , Hamburg: "Designer of the modern city. William Lindley in Hamburg and Europe (1808-1900)".
  • The small "Lindleystraße" in Hamburg's Rothenburgsort
    Rothenburgsort is a quarter in the Hamburg-Mitte borough of the Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg in northern Germany. In 2006, the population was 8,660.-Geography:The quarter is situated in the south-east center of Hamburg...


Further reading

  • Gustav Leo, William Lindley. Ein Pionier der technischen Hygiene, Hamburg 1969.
  • Ortwin Pelc/ Susanne Grötz (Ed.), Konstrukteur der modernen Stadt. William Lindley in Hamburg und Europa 1808-1900, exhibition catalogue Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte 01.10.2008-22.09.2008, Hamburg 2008 (Schriftenreihe des Hamburgischen Architekturarchivs).
  • Lindleyowie Dzieje inzynierskiego rodu, Ryszard Zelichowski ISBN 83-88794-91-4

External links

Norbert Wierecky: Ingenieurportrait von William Lindley. Pionier der technischen Hygiene. In: Deutsche Bauzeitung, ISSN 0721-1902, Bd. 137 (2003), 6, S.84-90, Online-Version (PDF)
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.