The pump hall is of brick with arched windows, and inside is lined with white glazed bricks. A travelling crane runs along the top of the walls below the metal framed roof. The Humphrey pumps are almost unique, as they worked by using gas explosions to oscillate water in a huge U-tube, part of which (the black funnels) can be seen in the adjoining building, which is decorated with classical pillars. The third building was formerly used for gas generation.
If you pass a gate and climb the bank behind the buildings, you will be confronted by the vast expanse of the George V reservoir.
The site is worth a visit if you are interested in industrial heritage. The pump hall is an attractive building, built at a time when civic pride rather than accountancy ruled design.
The pumping station was opened for viewing on 22 Sept 1012 as part of the annual “Open House London”.
(If you are interested in Open House London and have a few pounds to spare, I suggest obtaining the annual catalogue booklet, as thumbing through this to see what’s available where is much easier than trawling the database-driven website, and you can carry it around with you. Many buildings require pre-booking.)