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The Gallery | Stunning pumping station restored

The Crossness Pumping Station – a stunning example of Victorian civil engineering – has reopened following a restoration project.

It holds the largest working example of rotative beam-engines in the world and was built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, opening in 1865, as part of the sewer system that helped to eradicate the capital’s last cholera outbreak.

The restoration has been carried out by volunteers and the building is now a museum and exhibition space, including a replica sewer tunnel.

The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Its head Stuart Hobley said: “This ‘Victorian cathedral of ironwork’ represents a pivotal moment in the creation of the London we know today. This project offers a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about the rich and varied history of health and sanitation in the city, as well as to have access to this amazing testament to Victorian engineering. We are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support it.”

The Crossness Engines Trust chair John Austin added: “This is a moment we have long looked forward to, the creation of an innovative museum which helps to explain the magnificence of the Victorian engineering and ironwork on this site and its contribution to the public health of this great city. It has been a challenging project to deliver these improvements to access, restoration work and new exhibition. We are very grateful to HLF [Heritage Lottery Fund] and all the other funders who have helped us to realise our vision of a museum which does credit to Bazalgette’s great work, as well to all our wonderful and hard-working volunteers without whom none of this would be possible.”

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