From ancient monuments to Victorian masterpieces, Thamesmead has some surprises up its sleeve.

Here are some of the best sights the town has to offer. And if these aren't enough, why not explore Thamesmead's waterways and green spaces or check out the huge range of activities taking place locally?

Find out more:

Crossness Pumping Station

Lesnes Abbey Woods

Walk Thamesmead

Thamesmead's nature reserves

Crossness Pumping Station: The Cathedral on the Marsh

Not what you’d expect from a sewage facility, Thamesmead’s ‘Cathedral on the Marsh’ is a thing of beauty and London's newest tourist attraction.

Built by the distinguished civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette in response to of 19th Century London's Cholera epidemic, Crossness Pumping Station was the first of its kind and a monument to Victorian engineering.

Following a £2.7million Heritage Lottery Fund grant, Crossness Pumping Station is in better shape than ever and offers open days to see the Grade I listed Beam Engine House and of the some of the most spectacular ornamental Victorian cast ironwork to be found today.

Visit the Crossness Engines Trust website or Facebook page.

In pictures: a visit to Crossness Pumping Station

Crossness has had a £2.7million revamp

It was built for Victorian London's sewerage system

Crossness helped solve London's cholera epidemic

The pumping station was the first of its kind

It features some of the most best Victorian cast ironwork

The Beam Engine House is a Grade 1 Listed building

The building has mostly been restored by volunteers

Crossness was built by civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette…

The building still contains four original pumping engines

The beam engines are possibly the largest of their kind in t…

The building was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1865

Today it is known as Thamesmead's 'Cathedral on the Marsh'

Lesnes Abbey Woods

On the doorstep of South Thamesmead and overlooking the town are the Lesnes Abbey ruins – an ancient monument and the site of the 12th Century Abbey of St Mary and St Thomas the Martyr at Lesnes.

The pattern of the original church remains today and is free to view as part of Lesnes Abbey Woods – an 88-acre public park, wildlife haven and, thanks to its ancient woodland and prominence of fossils, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

And it’s not just about heritage. A £3.5 million enhancement project has seen improvements such as the education and community centre the Lesnes Lodge and a new parkour zone.

Visit the Lesnes Abbey Woods website or Facebook page.

Lesnes Abbey Ruins.jpg

An ancient monument on Thamesmead's doorstep: Lesnes Abbey ruins

Walk Thamesmead

Stretching from the River Thames to Nunhead Cemetery, South East London's Green Chain Walk spans the fields, parks and woodlands across a 50 miles area.

The first of the 11 sections begins in Thamesmead, taking you between Crossness Pumping Station and Lesnes Abbey Woods and showing off Thamesmead's diverse neighbourhoods and beautiful waterways along the way.

Download the route map (1.7MB)


Section four of the Thames Path incorporates Thamesmead's 5km of river frontage as part of an 11 mile route from the Thames Barrier to the River Darent.  The Thamesmead stretch takes in Broadwater Dock, Crossness Pumping station and Thamesmead's brand new park on the river.

Download the route map(3MB).

Nature reserves

Thamesmead's historic nature reserve is re-launching in summer 2017, with the Friends of Tump 53 aiming to ensure that Tump 53 enjoyed by as many people as possible. In the meantime, you can still check it out by taking part in volunteer days to get the site ready for opening.


Crossness Nature Reserve: 50 hectares of wetlands and grazing marshes

But Tump 53 isn't the only nature reserve Thamesmead has to offer. Crossness Nature Reserve covers 50 hectares and incorporates some of the last remaining grazing marshes in Greater London. It's wetlands are perfect for wildlife, from barn owls to kestrels to wading birds.

Part of the site is site is open permanently, and the rest can be seen on specific events from bat walks to bird watching. Get involved through the Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve.