History & Timeline
You can find a summary of Crossness' history here.
The distance between dates in this timeline, as you see it, is to scale.
First cholera outbreak in London. Over 6,500 die.
Population of London approx. 1.5 million.
Edwin Chadwick makes a link between disease and poor living conditions
A Bill is passed requiring all drains and cesspits to be connected to the sewers
Cholera strikes London again. This time over 14,000 die.
The Great Stink. Finally the terrible conditions affect Parliament and a Metropolis Management Amendment allows Joseph Bazalgette to go ahead with his intercepting sewage system.
Work on the southern side of the Thames is completed, the site at Crossness consisting of the beam engine house, boiler house, workshops, 208ft chimney and 25 million gallon covered reservoir begin work. The engines started initially by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Abbey Mills pumping station on the north side of the river is completed.
Princess Alice disaster. Over 650 lives lost. The problem of dumping sewage into the river is addressed
Sir Joseph Bazalgette dies.
Upgrades to the beam engines / plunger pumps and boilers begin to be carried out.
Boiler house extended to house 4 superheated boilers. Centrifugal engine house (CEH) opens, fed steam by from the new boilers.
One beam engine (Prince Consort) is steamed for the last time to help deal with flood waters.
The Crossness Engines Trust is formed.
Prince Consort is back in steam and started by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Work has continued on the buildings, grounds and countless projects around the site including a narrow gauge railway (RANG). The restoration of Victoria, the second beam engine is underway with plenty of work for all those involved. One half of the old valve house has been cleaned and repainted and now houses a collection of small engines and pumps restored by our volunteers.
The use of the buildings for corporate, filming and private hire has also given the Trust another revenue source.
We now open many times a year for public and private open days and tours.
A third cholera outbreak kills over 10,500.
Work commences on the intercepting sewers.
Cholera outbreak in a part of London not covered by Bazalgette's system.
Bazalgette's system is completed.
After extending the reservoir to allow for settlement, the precipitation engine house (PEH) opens. Dumping of raw sewage into the river ceases and sludge vessels now take it out to sea.
Population of London now approx. 3.8 million.
Triple expansion engine house (TEEH) is built on the front of the 1865 building. This housed two triple expansion engines and reciprocating pumps. Installed to allow upgrades to the beam engines to be carried out.
Beam engine house upgrades are completed.
The triple expansion engines are removed from the TEEH. Replaced with diesel engines driving centrifugal pumps. By now, the beam engines are hardly used.
The beam engine house, boiler house and TEEH are now redundant due to the new treatment works.
Crossness Preservation group, a bunch of keen individuals, begin making moves to restore the 1865 buildings and engines.
The dumping of sewage at sea finally ends on 31st December.
Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, The Great Stink Exhibition in the boiler house is opened.
PRESERVING AN INDUSTRIAL CATHEDRAL
NEXT FAMILY OPEN DAY:
Sun 8th April 2018 10:30-16:00