Crossness Pumping Station interior detail. Attribution: SA 2.0 Generic. Image: Christine Matthews, Geograph.

study visits

Crossness Pumping Station

  • Monday 3 June 2024
    (12 noon - Tour is 2.5-3 hours long)
  • Crossness Pumping Station, Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ
  • Guide: Venue guide

A visit to experience the glory and genius of the Victorian age. It is hard to overstate just how incredible the engine house is. It was ‘just’ a sewage pumping facility, but the extraordinary architecture is worthy of a state building or a cathedral.

Preserving An Industrial Cathedral: ‘a ballet of rods and pistons’
‘Opened in 1865, the Beam Engine house at Crossness houses four rotative beam engines named after the main members of the Victorian Royal Family. Constructed between 1859 and 1865 by William Webster, as part of Bazalgette’s redevelopment of the London sewerage system, it features spectacular ornamental cast ironwork, that Nikolaus Pevsner described as “a masterpiecee of engineering – a Victorian cathedral of ironwork”.
The 2003 BBC Series Seven Wonders of the Industrial World: The Sewer King episode featured a segment filmed in the pumping station. The pumping station has also been used as a filming location and for several TV programmes. Do have a look at some of the photographs online and you will realise that a visit will be worthwhile.’ (Notes from venue publicity.)

Maybe Pevsner’s approval is enough to warrant a visit!

Transport:
Trains: Southeastern rail or Elizabeth line to Abbey Wood Station
Buses: 229, 244, 301, 472 from stop C at Abbey Wood Station (28 mins)
Taxi: 0208 311 1199
Limited parking onsite: call 0208 311 3711 before visit to confirm a space

Interactive map with transport information:
https://crossness.org.uk/thamesmead-location-map/

Guide

Venue guide

Members only

Places available

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