The Crossness Pumping Station on the south bank of the River Thames near to the present-day community of Thamesmead, was built as part of the London trunk sewer scheme designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette (1819-91), and opened by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales in 1865. Four steam engines are arranged within a cruciform building that is lavishly ornamented with brightly-painted decorated cast-iron. The engines were originally supplied by James Watt & Co of the Soho Foundry, Birmingham, but were rebuilt with triple expansion by Benjamin Goodchild in 1899.
The Crossness Engines Trust was formed in 1985 and the restoration of one of the engines, the Prince Consort, was completed in 2003. The engine is regularly steamed on public open days, and visits to the pumping station can be arranged at other times by appointment.