Crossness Pumping Station, Belvedere Road, Bexley, Greater London

Crossness Pumping Station, Belvedere Road, Bexley, Greater London
Photograph taken 02 September 2003 © Mr Richard M. Brown FRICS. Source Historic England Archive ref: 198633

This sewage pumping station was built in 1864. It contains four beam engines used to pump the sewage. It was designed by the engineer Joseph Bazalgette and opened on the 4th April 1865. Bazalgette was the chief engineer for the London Board of Works. He was responsible for greatly improving the quality of the water and sanitation in the city. In 1853 - 1854 more than 10,000 Londoners had been killed by an outbreak of cholera. Then the hot summer of 1858 created the 'Great Stink of London', which overwhelmed all those who went near the Thames. This, together with the frequent occurrence of cholera and other diseases, gave rise to new laws to allow the metropolitan board to begin work on sewers and street improvements. By 1866 most of London was connected to a sewer network devised by Bazalgette. This pumping station is the only one of Bazalgette's scheme to retain its original engines.