The Crossness Pumping Station

A Cathedral on the Marsh

The official opening

The Southern Outfall Works, as the complex was originally called, was officially opened on April 4th 1865, by HRH The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), attended by Prince Alfred, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York and the Lord Mayor of London, and many other persons of rank.

Following an address by Joseph Bazalgette, the Royal party toured the works and reservoirs, and the Prince then turned the wheel which started the engines and, as the Illustrated London News observed, "a sensible vibration was felt throughout the building, showing that the enormous beams, lifting-rods and flywheels were in operation" Following that, in the true Victorian spirit, the "Prince and five hundred guests sat down to an excellent dejeuner, in one of the ancillary sheds, beside the Engine House" (now the Fitting Shop).