The Crossness Pumping Station was built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette as part of Victorian London’s urgently needed main sewerage system.
It features some of the best ornamental Victorian cast ironwork to be found today. It also contains the four original pumping engines (although the cylinders were upgraded in 1901), which are possibly the largest remaining rotative beam engines in the world, wit h 52 ton flywheels and 47 ton beams. Although modern diesel engines were subsequently introduced, the old beam engines remained in service until work on a new sewerage treatment plant commenced in 1956.
This last engine has been restored and is brought into use when needed. It lifts 6 tons of sewerage at every stroke 30 to 40 feet or so up from a low level sewer.
The small Barring Steam Engine shown at the beginning is for setting the massive 27 foot 52 ton flywheel and connecting Beam so that they are in the correct starting position.
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