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Battersea Water Pumping Station

Battersea Water Pumping Station

Battersea Water Pumping Station stands next to Battersea Power Station.  The pumping station is much smaller than Battersea Power Station, but is of architectural and historic interest in its own right.  The pumping station has great potential for reuse in any future redevelopment at Battersea Power Station.

The pumping station was built in 1840 for the Southwark Water Company and extended in 1856.  It housed a series of Cornish engines used for pumping water from the Thames into filter beds on the site now occupied by Battersea Power Station itself.  At one time the pumping station housed the largest Cornish engine ever built, with a 112" diameter cylinder.

The Cornish engines were removed in the early part of the twentieth century and the building  had a variety of other uses since that time.  The building was listed Grade II in 1994.

Parkview applied for listed building consent to demolish the pumping station in 1997.  The reason given was to allow for a new hotel to be build to the east of Battersea Power Station.  The hotel is in phase two of the development, scheduled to be built in 2005/6.

English Heritage decided not to intervene, and the application was approved in July 1997.  However a condition was set that the pumping station could not be demolished until a contract for the new hotel had been let.  The proposed demolition severely criticised in Private Eye

In 2001, Parkview applied for permission to proceed with demolition of the pumping station before a contract for the new hotel was let.  The reason now given was to allow Thames Water to construct an access shaft in Cringle Street.

The listed building consent expired in 2002 but was renewed, despite our protests. The permission eventually expired in 2007. On 23td August 2008, Tony Whitehead, spokesman for new owners REO, confirmed that the pumping station would be incorporated in the new development.

Interior of engine house, photographed in March 2001 Interior of the former boiler house, demolished in 2002

Interior of the engine house. The Cornish engines occupied the full height of the space.

Interior of the former boiler house at the back of the pumping station. The space would have made a good sports hall, however the boiler house was demolished in 2002.


© Battersea Power Station Community Group 2011


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