9th October 2016: Abbey Wood to Woolwich via Crossness Pumping Station

Lots of varied and interesting features on this walk enjoyed by 12 of us!

The ruined  12th century Lesnes Abbey must have been magnificent  before  Henry VIII dissolved it.

Great views looking towards the Thames and back into Central London.

Bexley Council’s Lesnes Woods enhancement project, very promising start until the contractors went bust!.

Thamesmead,  60s utopian housing project that never quite recovered from its star role in the Clockwork Orange.….the worst features- some of the leaking flats and walkways – are now being demolished.  The arrival of Crossrail in 2018 will dramatically change the area.

Birds, birds, birds …on Southmere Lake.

Along the Ridgeway…that sits on top of southern outfall sewer

Over the former marshy area reclaimed by the enterprising monks of Lesnes Abbey

On to steaming day at Crossness pumping station, the sewerage plant designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and opened in 1865 after the cesspits and drainage systems of central London had literally reached breaking point. The highlight was the lovingly restored (it took volunteers 18 years) Prince Consort beam engine.

Back along the Thames with storm clouds and a rainbow behind us …and a family of four seals living on the edge of the river.

Finished with afternoon coffee/tea in the café in the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich.

Link to clip about Crossness Pumping Station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlp1aG1VJRI




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