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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.

Visit Us

Discover Crossness with a Guided Tour

Open Days (Sundays)

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

Book now

For Your Diary

2024 Open Days

24th March

28th April

19th May

23rd June

21st July

18th August

22nd September

17th November

15th December

ULEZ announcement

Visitors arriving by car should note that from Tuesday 29th August Crossness Pumping Station will be inside the expanded Ultra Low Emissions Zone.

RANG Railway is running

The diesel engine of RANG railway engine Bazagette

Visitors this year will again be able to ride the 400 metres from the pedestrian path to the RANG building at no charge.

We would like to thank everyone who donated to our crowdfunding appeal.

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.
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.
19 November 2022
Well worth a visit We attended their open day on 12th Nov 22 and had a really great day. The whole place was fascinating and the volunteers were very welcoming and helpful and the pumping station was as stunning as the photos you see of it on line. Sadly however the beam engine wasn’t working but that didn’t spoil our time there. Thank you to all those who work so hard to make this, and other places, a joy to visit. Oh, and the cafe was pretty good too 👍.
Ian M
Ian M
18 October 2022
A fascinating insight into a Victorian Cathedral of Engineering I've known about the Victorian sewage works that cleaned up London in the mid-Victorian era, and I'd seen this pumping station on TV. So when the chance came up to take a guided tour I jumped at it. The site is part of a huge waterworks and so you have a pleasant stroll from the car park to the actual station by the river. Once inside the staff are very friendly and knowledgable. There is a small coffee shop and very up to date conveniences (no Victorian plumbing here!). The tour starts with an informative talk from a volunteer explaining the historical background which led to the project in the 1860's along with details of the chief engineer and the construction of the works. Then its on with the hard hats and safety glasses as one enters the pump room. Here one starts with a couple of un-restored engines. It is atmospheric! Then one progresses into the beautifuylly restored centre lobby thn up original open stairs to she the tops of both the un-restored and fully restored engines. Fantastic! At all times the guide, a proper Sarf Londoner, is answering questions and offering insights. The tour continues via a museum area to workshops and demonstation of smaller static steam engines. At the end you're welcome to explore at will. One for the true industrial heritage enthusiast.
5 October 2022
Fantastic building, however the guided tour drags on Firstly the building and the history of this place is very intersting. The visit starts with a 45 minute presentation, which again is interesting but doesn't need to take this long. Maybe some guests enjoy the fact that it is drawn out but this isn't engaging for all audiences. The tour itself starts after you've been there for an hour and this was started off by our guide repeating most things that we had just been told in the 45 minute presentation. I was just eager to see the magnifcent architecture the building has to offer and after 90 minutes of being there you finally get to see it! I am sure some people loved it from start to finish but this does not need to take 3 hours to do, it could quite easily be condensed into an hour. Considering the buildings beauty and importance it concerns me how you would engage younger audiences when it comes to raising awareness of your cause.
2 July 2022
A superb day out 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.
Sue L
Sue L
31 May 2022
Fascinating, unusual day out 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

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

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 button

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.