‪The Crossness Pumping Station‬

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awmuk
Midlands28 مساهمة
يونيو 2022
‪The volunteers who provided the introductory talk and who guided us on the tour were outstanding. They described the social history, architecture and engineering in ways that we found accessible, interesting and entertaining. They answered a wide range of questions. It was so interesting. All the volunteers here have achieved a tremendous amount in restoring the engine, buildings and garden, keeping the archive and running the café.
We would also recommend the walk from Abbey Wood Station passing Lesnes Abbey ruins and following the Green Chain Path through parkland in Thamesmead. We returned to Woolwich along the Thames Path which was also a great walk on a sunny day.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 2 يوليو 2022
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Sue L
‪Poole‬, UK3 مساهمات
رجال الأعمال • مايو 2022
‪The guided tour was exceptional for enthusiasm and information. Petra is so keen on this interesting place, you can't help but to be swept up in its workings and history. Ann gives up her time to be an excellent volunteer. Who knew sewage and a pumping station could be so fascinating. We all enjoyed our visit‬
كُتب بتاريخ 31 مايو 2022
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Love2travelfromKent
‪Sittingbourne‬, UK97 مساهمة
مايو 2022
‪Absolutely amazing Victorian buildings with incredible intricate detail from floor to roof. What a feat of engineering and so few people to appreciate it during its working life. Well worth going to see this unusual attraction and the staff are so helpful and informative. Bit of a distance from the car park if you can't catch the train (it was undergoing maintenance when we visited). I have slight mobility issues and felt the distance to have to walk might defeat me but it was a lovey day so we took an easy stroll. Well worth the visit to see the wonderful construction of Victorian times but might not grab the attention of younger children.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 26 مايو 2022
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Firefox1981
لندن, UK10 مساهمات
مايو 2022
‪I did the guided tour of the site. We were given a warm welcome. The guides were very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions.

We were extremely lucky to see one of the giant engine pumps in action as part of a test.

There is supposed to be a cute narrow gauge train from the entrance to the main site of the museum but it wasn't running due to a fault.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 9 مايو 2022
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Chris D
مانشستر, UKمساهمتيْن
أبريل 2022
‪An excellent guided tour of the pumping station this morning. A brilliant experience to understand the workings of the London sewage system working way below our feet every minute of the day…. A must to visit the site and see the restored parts of the museum and how volunteers are working hard to maintain the Victorian heritage of the whole site. A wonderful day out for the family. Look out for their open days or book a group visit by appointment.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 30 أبريل 2022
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Bob M
‪Gravesend‬, UK660 مساهمة
بمفردك • أبريل 2022
‪In company with fellow members of Subterranea Britannica, my visit to the Crossness pumping station was memorable.
A truly wonderful example of Victorian engineering at it’s finest.
Our guides (Petra and Bob) were excellent.
You have to pre-book so be aware you cannot just turn up unannounced!‬
كُتب بتاريخ 24 أبريل 2022
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Sarah C
‪Sheffield‬, UK34 مساهمة
مارس 2022
‪We opted for the guided tour which was well worth the cost. The first part with Mike Jones was funny, educational and interesting. The guide who took over and showed us the buildings and machinery was very willing but didn't manage the group so it splintered and everyone went their own way, It didn't detract from the experience. There are many volunteers happy to speak and show you how things work. We were there for 3 hours and would have stayed longer if we'd taken food. The cafe has drinks and snacks. This had been on my wish list for over 2 years and I wasn't disappointed.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 24 مارس 2022
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Brian T
لندن, UK5,502 مساهمة
فبراير 2022
‪What a fabulous museum, down there in the bowels of South East London. It’s been on my radar of a while, and I was pleased an open day was scheduled for a Sunday in February. These open days are held regularly, though not frequently, and cost £10.00 per visitor. I booked online, though I believe walk-ins are possible. It’s a popular museum and there were many people visiting - with very good reason to do so.

Now, it’s not your average museum. It’s a Victorian sewage pumping station that used to be attached to a sewage system. But it’s certainly not a pile of crap. It’s a spectacular, informative and seriously beautiful place to visit.

To put it all into perspective, the Crossness Pumping Station is a former sewage pumping station, designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works at the time, and the renowned architect Charles Henry Driver, to address Victorian London’s waste disposal and health problems. Following the ‘Great Stink’ which enveloped London in 1858, and outbreaks of cholera, a plan to remove sewage from the Thames River in London and have it enter the sea further down the river estuary so it would wash out to sea was devised and put into construction. Its focal point, a new pumping station, was constructed between 1859 and 1865 and opened by the then Prince of Wales in April 1865.

Built adjacent to river Thames marshland to the south east of London, the buildings are a masterpiece of Victorian engineering, featuring remarkable cast ironwork and four magnificent beam steam engines.

Even though I had seen pictures of the pumping station’s famous octagonal room, not in a million years would I have imagined that a sewage pumping station could be so beautiful.

The outside of the two-storey high main building at Crossness Pumping Station is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to Victorian architecture. London is awash with fabulous examples of Victorian buildings. It was designed in a Romanesque style; the bricks used to build it were “Suffolk Whites”, very fashionable back in the 19tth century.

As you approach the building, which in many respects is quite plain, you begin to doubt if the interior is as beautiful as it is made out to be. But do not doubt; the interior octagon with its ornamental cast ironwork is an absolutely spectacular explosion of colour, with red, green and yellow iron detail.  The wrought and cast iron work of the octagon is of most ornate design. Handrails were of highly polished tubular brass. The ironwork was painted in natural colours following those of the featured leaves, branches and fruit. The shafts of the main columns were in Indian red. The elaborately painted panels in the octagon, immediately below the beam floor, incorporate the monogram of the Metropolitan Board of Works (and not William B Webster as people often think, as his name is incorporated above). The iron columns with richly ornamented capitals support iron arched screens and the open octagonal well on the main beam floor. The octagon actually had quite a simple role in the building: to light up the hall. Above it was an opening in the roof which allowed the light to stream through into the pumping hall.

It is seriously beautiful, especially when you try to put its location into perspective - in the middle of a sewage pumping station. You associate the spot with effluent, not intricate and beautiful wrought iron.

The four engines are placed in the corners of the building. Some areas of the Beam Engines House are not yet restored, and you can see the terrible state of decay the building and the engines have gone through since they were last used, around the 1930s. It took 18 years to fully restore Prince Consort engine, and now the efforts have moved towards Victoria. There are occasions when you can visit the museum when the steam engine is operating. It wasn’t operating on the day of my visit.

When you enter the pumping building you’ll encounter an informative little museum, which outlines the history of the pumping station and the circumstances which led to its development. It’s informative and interesting, and puts the purpose of the museum into perspective, so take the time to read it all. There’s also informative talks given at regular intervals. The museum has a fabulous little collection of toilets, including some really ornate examples (including one appropriately named ‘Deluge’), as well as information about Mr Thomas Crapper and his role in the establishment of the flushing toilet system.

Note that hard hats are required for entry into the pump room. It’s still regarded as an industrial site and the wearing of such apparel is legislated. The hard hards are sanitised after use. Within he complex is a cafe, a gift shop, and clean toilet facilities.

It’s known as the ‘Cathedral of Sewage’, that name is certainly appropriate, as it is a spectacular spot to visit. I highly recommend it. Not many people get to see it. Consider yourself lucky if you are fortunate to visit. It’s one of the most unusual museums I have ever visited.

It’s located in a bit of a cultural and industrial wasteland, and driving is the best option. You will be directed to the carpark, and shown the ramp and path on which you need to walk to get to the entrance of the museum.

I walked to the museum from Abbey Wood rail station. It’s not a difficult walk by any means for the able, and it will take you about 30 minutes. However, keep in mind the following walking guidelines. On exiting Abbey Wood station at the front of the station, turn left and walk ahead. Do not cross to the other side of the road. Walk on the left past Sainsbury’s, and across Eynsham Drive, until you come to what looks like a huge road flyover. Do not enter the flyover. Stay left and walk down Harrow Manorway until you come to Belvedere Road. Turn right into Belvedere Road and follow it to the entrance to the museum carpark at the end. To the right is the pathway to the museum. It’s not a scenic walk by any means, but it is fairly flat and suitable for those using mechanical mobility assistance.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 26 فبراير 2022
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Lesley
‪Greater London‬, UK5 مساهمات
يناير 2022
‪Well worth the visit. This was such an interesting place with so much information. There was also a demonstration of how the sewerage system works. It’s a historical site that is being lovingly restored. The main hall is especially interesting where you can see the progress made with decoration. There is plenty of Social history information of how it all started and where we are now with regards to the sewerage system and cholera. There are displays of old toilet systems. TheBeam steam engine was not running, and neither was the miniature railway but still a great place to visit and I would imaging that children would love it. We had a great day and all the volunteers were so informative. There are also places to have a picnic.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 22 فبراير 2022
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peter w
‪Thetford‬, UK16 مساهمة
نوفمبر 2021
‪Brilliant, very enlightening.. very well-laid out and full of information and such a lovely building‬
كُتب بتاريخ 14 نوفمبر 2021
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