The Crossness Pumping Station

The Crossness Pumping Station

The Crossness Pumping Station
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About
A 19th century sewage pumping station restored in part to its original high Victorian glory. Four massive James Watt beam engines, one fully restored, one in restoration and two in magnificent dilapidation await you. We steam 5 days a year. Situated on the south bank of the Thames at Thamesmead we reflect local, national and world pride in the achievements of Sir Joseph Bazalegette.
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  • Linda Blackburn
    Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom2 contributions
    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.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 30, 2023
  • Phil Swallow
    Croydon, United Kingdom72 contributions
    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.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 25, 2023
  • Lisa W
    329 contributions
    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!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 26, 2023
  • m0lsx
    Norwich, United Kingdom54 contributions
    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.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 6, 2023
  • S Butcher
    London, United Kingdom19 contributions
    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.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 24, 2023
  • Becky W
    Hastings, United Kingdom239 contributions
    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.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 19, 2023
  • likeha
    60 contributions
    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
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 19, 2023
  • ClaudeLondon
    London, United Kingdom56 contributions
    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.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 19, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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David
Telford, UK107 contributions
Oct 2022 • Friends
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.
Written October 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian M
8 contributions
Oct 2022
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.
Written October 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VLB
4 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
Excellent visit. The volunteers are just so knowledgeable and friendly (Peter showed us around) and it's such an amazing place with a great history. I'm shocked by the entry fee - I would definitely pay more, it's definitely worth it. We spent about 3 hours there. The exhibition on The Great Stink was really good and the building itself is gorgeous and so interesting.
Written July 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

awmuk
Midlands29 contributions
Jun 2022
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.
Written July 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris D
Manchester, UK2 contributions
Apr 2022
An excellent guided tour of the pumping station this morning. A brilliant experience to understand the workings of the London sewage system working way below our feet every minute of the day…. A must to visit the site and see the restored parts of the museum and how volunteers are working hard to maintain the Victorian heritage of the whole site. A wonderful day out for the family. Look out for their open days or book a group visit by appointment.
Written April 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil Swallow
Croydon, UK72 contributions
Jun 2023 • Solo
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.
Written June 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lesley
Greater London, UK5 contributions
Jan 2022
Well worth the visit. This was such an interesting place with so much information. There was also a demonstration of how the sewerage system works. It’s a historical site that is being lovingly restored. The main hall is especially interesting where you can see the progress made with decoration. There is plenty of Social history information of how it all started and where we are now with regards to the sewerage system and cholera. There are displays of old toilet systems. TheBeam steam engine was not running, and neither was the miniature railway but still a great place to visit and I would imaging that children would love it. We had a great day and all the volunteers were so informative. There are also places to have a picnic.
Written February 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Firefox1981
London, UK10 contributions
May 2022
I did the guided tour of the site. We were given a warm welcome. The guides were very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions.

We were extremely lucky to see one of the giant engine pumps in action as part of a test.

There is supposed to be a cute narrow gauge train from the entrance to the main site of the museum but it wasn't running due to a fault.
Written May 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ClaudeLondon
London, UK56 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
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.
Written November 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa W
Norwich, England, United Kingdom329 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
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!
Written July 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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