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The Cathedral on the Marshes

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.

Visit Us

Why not leave the car at home and travel down to Crossness by public transport?

Following the great success of the Shuttle Bus it has been decided to continue with the bus for all Sunday Open Days this year, The vintage Routemaster shuttle bus will transport visitors to and from Abbey Wood Station.

The first bus starts from Abbey Wood stations at 9:45 and runs every 30 minutes thereafter. The final trip back to Abbey Wood is at 16:30 with the RANG railway last run at 16:15. Click for the Shuttle Bus Timetable .

The bus is a ROUTEMASTER RML and will be easy to recognise as it’s been painted in the traditional London Transport red. The driver and conductor will be dressed in period uniforms.

Please note that it a vintage bus and can only accomodate folding pushchairs or wheelchairs.

RANG Railway takes you to the engines

Spring has sprung on the RANG railway.

The narrow-guage diesel-powered railway runs from Eddie’s Rest station along a 400 metre track to the ATCOST building for the Crossness site.

 

Open Days (Sundays)

Prince Consort will be steaming

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

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

Book now

For Your Diary*

20th October

17th November

15th December

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

Celebrate the Thames

The Thames Festival, Sunday 8th September
Book tickets now

As part of the Thames Festival celebrating the River Thames, we present a unique opportunity to explore a blend of 19th century design and engineering, beautiful choral music and thje works by two exciting and wonderfully contrasting artists whose works are sympathetic, in different ways, to the ornate and industrial aesthetic of the Crossness Pumping Station.

Francis Payne is a contemporary artist working within the tradition of painting but using new technologies like scanners, laser cutters and 3D printers to create striking and intricate works of art: www.instagram.com/jfpayneartist/

Anna Keen, working primarily in oils and inks, has been painting for over 30 years and in her own words “wander(s) around peripheral wastelands and intertidal zones with my sketchbook, observing Nature’s Beauty and Man’s Architecture of Power and Waste”: www.annakeen.com

PWOS Musical Theatre group, founded in 1935, will join us and perform at set times throughout our Open Day in the iconic Engine House which houses the ornate ironwork and beam engines: www.pwos.com

We will be running a vintage routemaster shuttle bus from and to Abbey Wood Station and our narrow-gauge RANG railway will bring you from the main gates to our site. As well as this musical and artistic celebration, the ‘Great Stink’ exhibition is available to show why Crossness and the sewerage system designed by Bazalgette was so badly needed.

Please note that the Prince Consort engine will NOT be in steam.
The cafe will be open serving tea/coffee and soft drinks as well as a range of pre-packaged snacks and sandwiches and you’ll find it hard to resist a souvenir in our Gift Shop.
Book tickets now

Sponsor

Zipcooler
Zipcooler
15 February 2024
The Cathedral in the Marsh Who knew the beauty of poo? U3A visit with a fascinating talk by Petra Cox about the history of London sewage… the Great Stink, Joseph Bazalgette and the River Thames, followed by a comprehensive tour of the building and a buffet lunch. All run by enthusiastic and passionate volunteers. Absolutely brilliant!
Mo A
Mo A
14 February 2024
Crossness Pumping Station visit A brilliant day out at Crossness Pumping Station. Great informative talk by Petra Cox detailing the history and present day work of the pumping station. Excellent buffet lunch, amazing place - certainly worth a second visit!
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 H
Becky H
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!
Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas
4. March, 2024
Bueatifull Victorian engineering well worth a visit 👍
Francesco Barilla
Francesco Barilla
21. February, 2024
Splendid and ingenious example of Victorian architecture and also remarkable technical achievement of 1800s engineering. The amazing research for details visible on both brickwork and ironworks shows not only the incredible skills of the Victorian craftsmen but also the great care that Victorian designers used to put in their architectural compositions. Last but not least, the main function of the pumping station, very well explained by the knowledgeable tour guides: having the giant cast-iron beams pumping tons of fluids every second coming from the whole city of London, a result excellently achieved over numerous decades. An exciting and inspiring excursion.
Olamide Ojo
Olamide Ojo
12. February, 2024
Nice place and beautiful engineering
Damian aka Evo.
Damian aka Evo.
7. February, 2024
I never visited this area of Crossness... I was working on the main site... However Google kept asking for a review because I navigated here and Google wouldn't stop asking when though I'd asked it to skip this site. This Looks a fantastic place to visit... Educational and interesting for old and young... Reading the reviews and looking at the photos I'll have to make the effort to visit next time I'm on site... The staff who maintain the engines and machines are very skilled and are mostly volunteers giving their time for the love of the job and should be commended.
nick hickin
nick hickin
7. February, 2024
Brillant, amazing, a true insite into the history of the incredible achievements of our forefathers.
Anita Neal
Anita Neal
26. January, 2024
A great experience made even better by the knowledgeable volunteer guides. Allow 2 to 3 for this.
Fritz Maiwald
Fritz Maiwald
21. January, 2024
Wer etwas Zeit hat und sich für die Technik interessiert, der sollte den Weg nach Abbey Wood machen. Ein sehr interessanter Ort, der durch die Guide erklärt werden. Vielen Dank an Jane, meinen Guide, sie hat mir alles wunderbar und perfekt erklärt. Die ganze Anlage ist wirklich ein Besuch wert.
Mike Google
Mike Google
18. December, 2023
A cathedral of victorian sewers

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