Visited Crossness on one of the few open days it has this year. What a wonderful place. The Victorians really knew how to decorate their workplaces. The place is in the middle of restoration but the work that has already been done is enough to capture the beauty. On the day we went there was also an old car show so check the website for events.
Place rating: 5 Colchester, United Kingdom
Take a step back in time, to the Victorian era: a great picture of a bygone age and Bazelget’s triumph in improving the health of London. Being somewhat surprised to be invited to visit a sewerage works I was relieved to find the aromas that you might associate with such an establishment have long since disappeared. Take a look at the unique architechture and ornate ironwork at the entrance. The best time to visit is on a steaming day — see website and access will soon be improved with a new road being built. The crossness engines trust is run by volunteers who continually fundraise to progress the restoration of the engines and buildings.
Place rating: 4 Hastings, United Kingdom
You wouldn’t really put ‘sewage’ and ‘beauty’ in the same sentence, would you? Well, you might after a trip to Crossness in Abbey Wood. The interior of this Romanesque style Grade 1 listed building looks more like an ornate church than a pumping station, but not without reason, as this served as Victorian London’s much-needed sewerage system. The Prince of Wales opened this building in 1865 and claimed to feel the whole floor rumble when he turned on the giant engines(a rumble you can still feel today if you go on a steamer day). These engines are the originals and possibly remain the largest rotative beam engines in the world. Adult entry is £4/£5 on streaming day, children under 16 go free. Crossness has just received a large grant from the National Heritage Fund, so check the website for opening times as they will be by appointment only in 2009.