On-line premiere of documentary film outling the history and significance of the Crossness Pumping Station
Opened in 1865 and known as the ‘Cathedral on the Marsh’, Crossness Pumping Station is a Grade 1 listed, industrial heritage site and a masterpiece of Victorian engineering, architecture and craftsmanship. It was designed by the civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette as part of London’s first sewage system.
Across south London, Bazalgette’s network of sewer pipes carried the waste safely underground and eastwards to Crossness, where four mighty beam engines pumped the sewage into a vast underground reservoir. At each high tide, the sewage was released into the Thames, harnessing the powerful flow of the ebbing tides to carry the sewage along the Estuary and out to sea.
Bazalgette’s sewer system eradicated cholera, improved the life expectancy of Londoners and enabled the city to develop and prosper. Everyday millions of Londoners still use Bazalgette’s sewers, they continue to provide the backbone of our 21st century infrastructure.
Over the past 30 years, The Crossness Engines Trust, a volunteer-led organisation, has restored the Crossness Pumping Station and brought ‘Prince Consort’, one of the four mighty beam engines, back into steam. The Trust offers learning programmes and events to inspire, entertain and engage visitors with the fascinating story of waste management.