In 1819 a gas company was founded in Northam. In 1820 William Chamberlayne MP presented the town with all the gas lighting columns it required.
In 1823 he was Chair of a group of shareholders who bought the gas company.
The town erected the Gas Column to thank him. It was at Town Quay until 1865 with a light on top to guide ships. It is currently in Houndwell Park.