Abbey Mills Pumping Station was a sewage plant on Abbey Lane in East London, UK. It has been called The Cathedral Of Sewage by some observers as a result of its grandeur in spite of its usage. It was built between 1865 and 1868 and was built on the site of a watermill from where the name Abbey Mills is derived.
The idea of the Abbey Mills Pumping Station was to raise the sewage in London’s lower sewer system to the higher one which was designed to get the waste away from the busy and crowded city centre. The design was elaborate for a building of its kind and featured 2 chimneys in the Moorish style. They were subsequently demolished in 1941 after they had been unused for a number of years when the original steam motors were replaced by electric ones. There was a fear that German bombers might bring them down on the pumping station, thus causing havoc for the London sewer system.
The original station has grade II listed status and can be used as a backup system if needed. The modern Abbey Mills Pumping Station was built next door and is a facility designed specifically for the increased population density of London’s centre and is under the management of Thames Water. They are in the process of boring a sewage tunnel to link Abbey Mills to Beckton Sewage Works.
B Station has recently been used as a location for movies including as the infamous Arkham Asylum in Batman Begins. C Station has been stripped for use as a set too. A Station remains as the primary back-up for the modern F Station. The building was cleaned up for the 2012 London Olympics which was held nearby.
Location: Abbey Mills, London
Category: Sewage Pumping Station