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The Cathedral in the Marsh

Built in 1865 the Pumping Station was at the end of the southern sewage outfall.
It housed 4 steam-driven beam engine pumps.

 
 

A Victorian Masterpiece

Joseph William Bazelgette, designer;     Charles Henry Driver, Architect.
William Webster, Building Contractor,     James Watt Company, Engines

 
 

Over Eighty Years of Service

The pump was last used in 1952 and then abandoned.
The Crossness Engines Trust was founded in 1985.

 
 

Discover Crossness

Crossness Pumping Station is a Grade 1 Listed industrial heritage site.
It is open to the public on Open Days and pre-booked tours.

Preserving An Industrial Cathedral

'a ballet of rods and pistons'

Crossness Engines Trust was set up to restore the engines which represent a unique part of Britain’s industrial heritage, an outstanding example of Victorian engineering.

Prince Consort is now steaming

Prince Consort as seen from the Octagon in the Beam Engine House

After the repairs to the infrastructure we are now able to run the Prince Consort under steam on Open Days.

RANG Railway is running

After the repairs to the infrastructure we are now able to run the Prince Consort under steam on Open Days.

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Visit Us

Why not leave the car at home and travel down to Crossness by public transport?  During the March, April and May Open Days, we will be trialling a vintage Routemaster shuttle bus to bring you here from Abbey Wood Station and back after your visit. Click for the Shuttle Bus Timetable Please note that the RANG railway will complete its last run at 16:15.

The bus will be easy to recognise as it’s been painted in the traditional red and white livery of the London General Ominibus Company which served London when Crossness was opened, and the driver and conductor will be dressed in period uniforms.

Open Days (Sundays)

Prince Consort will be steaming

Please note that all visits to the Pumping Station MUST be booked in advance

Book now

For Your Diary*

18th August

22nd September

20th October

17th November

15th December

* Tickets will be made available 3 months
prior to the date of the Open Day.

Breaking News

Tickets for

Open Days

May 19th

June 23rd

July 21st

Open Days
now on sale

BOOK NOW

We are now able to offer educational visits for primary and secondary schools.

Laura will be joining us in January and will concentrate on the delivery of an educational programme for primary and secondary schools.

To register your interest in please contact learning@crossness.org.uk

Peter T
Peter T
11 December 2023
Hidden triumph of Victorian public health engineering A triumph of Victorian public health engineering being restored by dedicated enthusiasts. Not easily accessible unless you can come by car. When I visited the car park was full and had to park a short distance away. Still much to do but well interpreted with good visitor facilities. Pre booking required via Eventbrite. Allow at least three hours for your visit to see all of this large site. I visited on a steaming day when there were related talks and tours. However it would have been useful if the website had publicised timetable for these and the fact that timed tickets for the engine house were given on arrival. These allowed only a 40 minute visit to the key feature for me, and partly due to this was unable to make the most of my visit. You are issued with hard hats to visit the engine house but somewhat confusingly the helpful and informative volunteers inside were not wearing them.
KoKo
KoKo
20 November 2023
Beautiful building - see the pump in action! Beautiful building. You can see the pump in action with steam coming out of it! They are still restoring it and paiting the metal to its original colours. Definitely worth a visit. Very informative.
ClaudeLondon
ClaudeLondon
19 November 2023
An amazingly interesting visit, historically, architecturally, design and engineering. You don't need to have a particular interest in steam engines or former sewage works to find this a fascinating place to visit. Amazing Victorian architecture and a triple expansion beam engine in steam when we visited. If the car park is full it can be quite a walk from parking at the side of the road but offset by taking the 2 foot gauge RANG railway up to the site. Inside a film and talk to start with and many informative and well designed interpretation displays leading into the magnificent engine hall. Truely a catherdral in the Marsh. Very friendly helpful volunteers inside and out make for a great welcome. Highly recommeded.
likeha
likeha
19 November 2023
Day out with a difference From arrival to departure, the whole experience was excellent. All the volunteers, of which there are plenty, are so friendly, welcoming and helpful. It was fascinating to see the beam engine in action and so expertly restored. Everything about this place is so impressive and well worth the journey and entry cost. Coffee in the cafe was decent as were the cakes. All in all a day to remember and talk about
Becky W
Becky W
19 November 2023
Fascinating day out Visited here for the steam open day and it was great. The building itself is really beautiful but the steam hall is incredible. There were some really informative talks about the history of the sewage system in London and how the pumping station worked. There was free parking on site with a short walk to the main building or a free train ride. It's a great place to visit especially if you're interested in history.
S Butcher
S Butcher
24 October 2023
Hidden Gem! The architecture was really beautiful and you could tell a lot of love went into looking after this place. It wasn't crowded and clearly a bit of a hidden gem, not yet marred by masses of tourists. The canteen isn't great (but it is obviously charity run) so I would recommend planning another location for a meal. We enjoyed the short walk to the central attraction site but got the adorable free train on the way back. It's only a few minutes of waiting and does upgrade the Pumping Station to quite a wholesome Sunday day out.
m0lsx
m0lsx
6 September 2023
A truely great day out. We attended as part of an organised Coach tour & can offer nothing but the highest praise. The tour it's self was suburb. Doug, our tour guide even took us down to the riverside to explain it's place within the wider environment. The building it's self is incredible & the work done by the volunteers amazing. I cannot recommend a visit highly enough. As part of our tour the museum provided a buffet & that too was impressive. A truly great day out.
Lisa W
Lisa W
26 July 2023
A Victorian industrial cathedral for sure! We have been wanting to go to Crossness for years, we finally made it for the Open Day on 23rd July and it certainly didn't disappoint. The customer experience was excellent - before our arrival and during. On receiving our arrival instructions it mentioned that disabled/blue badge parking was available closer to the entrance which was an absolute god send, no way could we have managed the car park to the site. Make sure you email them before your visit and they can arrange that for you (thank you!). We had an extremely warm welcome from a lady in Victorian costume who told us how our visit would work, and recommended the talk. So glad we did the talk, Rob Harris was brilliant and really brought the site and how Victorian London was in the 1800's to life. I would recommend doing the talk before reading the exhibits. And then prepare yourself for the main hall! This really is a cathedral from the Industrial age. Its stunning colours are a feast for the eyes. We were lucky enough to see the pumping machinery under steam, which was a real treat. Head upstairs for the best view, although for someone who suffers from vertigo this took a lot of courage as you are walking on metal see through flooring but boy it's worth it to look down! Would love to return to do the tour sometime. All volunteer staff were friendly and extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Don't miss this when you are in London!
Phil Swallow
Phil Swallow
26 June 2023
A masterpiece of Victorian architecture and design! A masterpiece of Victorian architecture and engineering. Located next to the current operational site, this is a step back in time with the local (excellent) volunteers in period costume to help set the scene. As it is located a reasonable distance from a railway station I decided to drive and was able to park close by for free, this is also controlled by the volunteers. There is a little train that takes you near to the pumping station buildings and a slope to walk up to get to the entrance. There is a lot to see and learn about. You can also sign up for a 20-30 minute guided tour of the archives. Reasonably priced cafe, shop and toilets all on site in the old boiler house. If you allow 2-3 hours you should be able to see everything at a nice pace.
Linda Blackburn
Linda Blackburn
30 May 2023
Briliant visit Just had a brilliant visit to Crossness. Luck to see the engine "Prince consort" working as it was being tested following repairs. Staff were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The visit started with a talk about the issues around pollution and the dirty river Thames, which put everything in context. Thank you Mike for the help with disability parking, and Richard Redfearn for making our visit such fun.
Mike Google
Mike Google
18. December, 2023
A cathedral of victorian sewers
Richard Lord
Richard Lord
12. December, 2023
If you are interested in old technical achievements, this is a very interesting place. The volunteer staff are extremely knowable and welcoming.
Tracy Stevens
Tracy Stevens
12. December, 2023
Very interesting place, only thing was the coffee is barely warm especially for the price
Rosemary Jenkinson
Rosemary Jenkinson
12. December, 2023
Really interesting visit. Loved it. All the volunteers were brilliant and friendly. Total credit.
Liz Woollan
Liz Woollan
11. December, 2023
Incredible piece of Victorian architecture designed by Bazalgette in 1800s to provide sewage system for London. Amazingly ornate restored ironwork. Steam driven 3 cylinder beam engined pump. The biggest beam in UK. Knowledgeable friendly guides.
Margaret Ramage
Margaret Ramage
10. December, 2023
Big surprise awaits the visitor. Unique decor and architecture and a working enormous pump. Material for a lot of sewage jokes. Recommended. Volunteers all lovely and enjoying what they do.
Karen Eggleden
Karen Eggleden
10. December, 2023
Fantastic place to visit,went for a steam day,and the icing on the cake,train journey on the delightful little engine.well run steeped in history, volunteers and staff were knowledgeable and considerate.go visit🙂
Trevor Osborne
Trevor Osborne
10. December, 2023
Fantastic preserved pumping station, operational beam engine . Knowledgable enthusiastic volunteer staff
Caprice Cheung
Caprice Cheung
9. December, 2023
I went with my husband through the Enginer of New Zealand group back in June this year. We had a fantastic day and thoroughly enjoyed our guided tour.

Ways To Visit Us

There are three primary ways of visiting Crossness Pumping Station

  • Open Days

  • Guided tours

  • Photographic events

Open Days are monthly on a Sunday, Guided tours are held on bi-weekly Tuesdays.

The Photographic events give your photographic society exclusive access to the CET site. For Open days and Tours to the Cathedral in the Marshes then book your tickets here.

Book Now

For photographic events email info@crossness.org.uk

We are open only on the days shown on the calendar and booking is required for all visits – please see the individual visit dates for the link to Eventbrite.

Crossness Pumping Station is an industrial site and we recommend comfortable clothing and flat shoes. Check out our Visitors’ Page for more information.

All Visits Must Be Pre-booked

Book Now
Online Exhibition

The Toilet Timeline

From a hole in the ground to the vacuum assisted toilet on the space station, the Toilet Timeline will illustrate the key developments in toilet design and technology – past present, and future.

This new exhibition tells a fascinating story of human ingenuity and innovation.

Toilet Timeline

Donate

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Much of the funding needed to conserve the Crossness Pumping Station comes from visitors to the site.

The pandemic, subsequent lockdowns and restrictions have meant our income for the last two years has been severely reduced.

Please consider making a donation to help us to maintain this unique and magnificent heritage site.

DONATE