The archive is comprised of Metropolitan Board of Works and London County Council records from the 1850’s to the 1990’s, sludge vessel log books, publications, patents for sanitary ware dating from 1894 to 1949, and copies of the 1862 and 1888 plan books for the site. The media collection is formed of videos, slides and photographs. The archive has a collection of information about former Crossness staff members and their families, some of which lived on site in the worker’s cottages.
The museum also holds a reference library of books covering topics such as engineering, sanitation, and Victorian London.
If you wish to book an appointment to visit the archive please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that appointments are only available on Tuesdays, Fridays, or Sundays. The archive room is climate controlled, so warm clothing is advised.
The museum has a store of UK sanitary ware, Victorian domestic items and paintings. The museum has over 400 artefacts including a variety of nineteenth and twentieth century toilet bowls, bed pans, chamber pots, and commodes, as well as bathroom items. The collection also includes scale models of the Boiler House and other ancillary Crossness buildings, personal items relating to Joseph Bazalgette, and objects left behind by former staff members, such as a pair of leather boots.
If you wish to book an appointment to view the artefacts in the museum store please email email@example.com. Please note that appointments are only available on Tuesdays, Fridays, or Sundays.
An exhibition consisting of information boards and videos tells visitors the story of London sanitation from dirt and disease to the improvements made by the construction of the main drainage system in the 1860’s. The museum has sanitary ware objects (toilets, bed pans, chain pulls), on permanent display in the Boiler House and a collection of small working engines available to view in the Valve House.
Beam Engine House
The museum’s star attractions are the four Victorian triple expansion beam engines in the Grade 1 Listed Beam Engine House.
- Prince Consort – this engine has been fully restored, and is operational on steaming days
- Victoria – this engine is currently under restoration
- Albert Edward – this engine is in the condition it was left in in the 1950’s
- Alexandra – this engine is in the condition it was left in in the 1950’s
This outbuilding houses nineteenth and twentieth century tools which are still operational today, and used by the volunteers undertaking restoration work.
The locomotive Bazalgette, which has been restored by the Crossness volunteers, is also on view.
To view the artefacts on display, the beam engines, or the workshop objects, please visit on one of our open days.
Behind the Scenes Archive Tours
Have you ever wondered what an archivist does?
Would you like to explore some of the treasures of the collection?
Join us on a free tour with the museum’s archivist on Sunday open days. There is no need to book, just meet at the top of the stairs in the Boiler House.
We are happy to announce that Archive Tours are back by popular demand from January 2022. We have made a few changes to reflect Covid restrictions, such as limiting the number of attendees, and asking everyone to wear a mask.
Thinking of donating an object to the museum?
Please click here for our Collections Development Policy, which outlines the types of object we aim to collect.
If you wish to donate an item to the museum which meets these criteria, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the object. Please note that we can only accept an object if we feel that is relevant to the collection and we have the space and resources to care for it. Thank you for your support and understanding.