The Crossness Pumping Station, London

4.8
#923 of 3,736 in Things to do in London
The Crossness Pumping Station is a former sewage pumping station designed by the Metropolitan Board of Works's Chief Engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and architect Charles Henry Driver at the eastern end of the Southern Outfall Sewer and the Ridgeway path in the London Borough of Bexley. Constructed between 1859 and 1865, as part of Bazalgette's redevelopment of the London sewerage system, it features spectacular ornamental cast ironwork, that Nikolaus Pevsner described as "a masterpiece of engineering – a Victorian cathedral of ironwork".
It is adjacent to Erith Marshes, a grazing marsh, the northern part of which is designated as Crossness Nature Reserve. This provides a valuable habitat for creatures ranging from moths to small amphibians and water voles.
The Southern Outfall Works, as the complex was originally called, was officially opened on 4 April 1865, by Edward, Prince of Wales, attended by Prince Alfred, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York and the Lord Mayor of London, and many other persons of rank.
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The Crossness Pumping Station Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
67 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • My partner and I visited the pumping station today. The tour was excellent and all the volunteers here were very knowledgable and enthusiastic. We spent approx 3.5 hours here, including the tour. The ...  more »
  • A great few hours spent at the pumping station earlier this week. Beautiful building, the work the volunteers have undertaken over the past 30 years is truly amazing. Our guide Wally was knowledgeable...  more »
Google
  • Great place to visit! Not open regularly, so look for announcements. And better to arrive as early as possible due to the queues. Absolutely worth seeing! There is a free car park and a shuttle bus from the nearest station.
  • Hidden gem of South East London! Went at the weekend for the open day and enjoyed both the 'Great Stink' exhibition and the pump house. Would very much recommend going on a 'steam' day, for full effect! For the open days, ensure you go early as we queued (from 1pm) for almost an hour! Clearly very popular. The shuttle bus is also in high demand, we ended up walking back to the station (35 mins). Decided against the cafe, as it was super busy! But overall, a fantastic display of Victorian architecture and engineering! Well worth a visit!
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