Alongside the well-known Cambridge of dreamy medieval colleges and spires, lies the first pumping station in the world powered by re-processed household waste. Before the pumping station was built in 1894, untreated sewage from Cambridge was poured directly into the River Cam. Combating the situation, a new sewage works was built two and a half miles away at Milton and was supplied by the pumping station at Cheddars Lane. To generate steam to work the pumps it was decided to charge the boilers with household and trade waste for fuel as this contained a high percentage of combustible materials such as coal, textiles, paper and bones as well as general waste.
The importance of the building has been recognised by Scheduled Monument status. The pumping station has been lovingly renovated by a group of enthusiasts. Re-christened the Cambridge Museum of Technology which now is the home of the city’s industrial heritage, from the steam age to semiconductors. It contains a variety of original pumps and boilers, steam and gas engines, scientific instruments and medical equipment, audio-visual electronics (radio and television, telecommunications) printing presses, power generation, food production: designed, made, used in Cambridge.
The Museum offers a multi-sensory experience for visitors: hands-on exhibits, audio-visual displays, children’s activities and accessible self-guides (including Braille, dyslexic and audio guides). Historic engines run in steam on open days. In association with its partners, the Museum hosts Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Arts projects.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2 Hours|
|Duration of a guided tour:||45 Minutes|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||For details see website|
|Infrastructure for children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on site:||yes|
Friday - Sunday 10.30am – 4pm