Design, History

Abbey Mills Pumping Station / Charles Driver + Joseph Bazalgette + Edmund Cooper


The Abbey Mills pumping station is a sewage plant designed so elaborately it looks like an authentic Byzantine monastery. It was thus named the Cathedral of Sewage. Located in the Thames estuary, this one-of-a-kind pumping station was built between 1865 and 1868 to siphon London’s sewage from the low level sewers up to the high level plant which processes the waste waters. Designed by architect Charles Driver and engineers Joseph Bazalgette and Edmund Cooper, the Cathedral of Sewage has a cruciform layout with intricate Byzantine architecture, a special touch that earned it a place in the United Kingdom’s Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Not to mention, the fascinating building got a starring role in Batman Begins (2003) as the Arkham Asylum Laboratory with the Scarecrow and Rachel Dawes — via When On Earth

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