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Abbey Mills Pumping Station

Abbey Mills pumping station 'A', built by engineer Joseph Bazalgette, Edmund Cooper and architect Charles Driver. Built between 1865 and 1868 it has been described as the cathedral of sewage.



Abbey Lane E15 2RW

Sat/Sun tours at 10am, 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. Pre-book ONLY on londonopenhouse@thameswater.co.uk clearly marking the subject ABBEY MILLS: Open House. Do not turn up on the day without pre-booking. Max 20 per tour.

Bromley-by-Bow, Bow Road

Pudding Mill Lane

25, 86

  • Partial disabled
  • Toilets available

ABBEY MILLS PUMPING STATION The Abbey Mills Pumping Station (Pumping Station F) is a large industrial barn, some 57m long, 29m wide and 23m high. It is the fifth in a series of sewage pumping stations built here since 1869, and uses state-of-the-art submersible pumps which halved the installation cost. Previous Victorian stations are now listed and used for other purposes. The superstructure consists of lightweight steel ‘A’ frames at 6m centres, bearing upon a square frame which carries the travelling cranes used for maintenance. It is this square structure that is at the heart of the design and becomes the key to the expression of the gable ends. Four sewers are brought together into one large concrete culvert which forms the base of the entire building. Using 16 pumps with a capacity of two cubic metres per second, the sewage is then pumped up 13m and discharged into the upper level culvert. From there it discharges into the 1869 main outfall sewer and the treatment plant at Barking. Four diesel generators in the middle of the building power the installation while a central gantry and two side-aisle travelling cranes allow the pumps and other machinery to be lifted for maintenance. Externally, the roof is penetrated by four vent cowls for the machinery. Louvres along the roof ridge provide ventilation to the barn itself. The sides are also louvred.