Monday, 4 April 2011

The Crossness Engines

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Crossness Pumping Station which, is less that 5 minutes drive away from where I live. Funny thing is, I've lived here for 27 years and never once visited it! Never gave it a thought! Remember what I said about exploring your own neighbourhood?

I took bucket loads of pictures with the thought in mind that this subject would make good HDR's. Turns out, it was a good subject. The difficulty I had though, was that they don't allow tripods ('elf 'n' safety sir!) so I had to work hand held... some were ballsed up pretty badly but these came out ok. Have a look at the text below for a bit more info on the station.

I'll post up some more as we go on....

Crossness Pumping Station was a sewage pumping station designed by engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and architect Charles Henry Driver. It was constructed between 1859 and 1865 as part of his redevelopment of the London sewerage system. It is located at Crossness, at the eastern end of the Southern Outfall Sewer.

The sewage was pumped up into a 27 million gallon reservoir, and was released into the Thames at high tide.

The station contains the four original pumping engines, which are thought to be the largest remaining rotative beam engines in the world, with 52 ton flywheels and 47 ton beams. The engines are named: Prince Consort, Victoria, Albert Edward, and Alexandra. Prince Consort was returned to steam in 2003 and now runs on Trust Open Days. The other engines are not in working order, although work has begun on the restoration of Victoria.

The Crossness Pumping Station was officially opened by Edward, Prince of Wales in April 1865 and the Beam Engine House is now a Grade I listed building[2] featuring spectacular ornamental cast ironwork – it has been described as "A masterpiece of engineering – a Victorian cathedral of ironwork" by Nikolaus Pevsner.

The pumping station was abandoned in the 1950s, and the building and engines were left to suffer considerable vandalism and decay.

Today the pumping station is managed by the Crossness Engines Trust, a registered charity set up in 1987 to oversee the restoration project.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve,

    My name is Alsu and I am a memeber of BVAG group based in London. We
    are currently working on the exhibition of Charles Henry Driver's
    architecture. Crossness Pumping Station is one of the projects we
    intend to exhibit. I am writing to ask whether your pictures of the station from here can be
    used for the exhibition (signed by your name)?

    The exhibition is organized on volunteer basis and we are not going to
    charge for the entrance or make any money on it. We are aiming at
    saving architectural heritage in London.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me or BVAG group for any futher questions.

    Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you!