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Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cambridge
Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
The Cambridge Museum of Technology is an industrial heritage museum situated in Cambridge, UK. The original building, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, housed a combined sewage pumping and waste destructor station built in 1894.HistoryThe Cheddars Lane Pumping Station was originally opened in 1894 in a scheme which also saw the creation of a sewage farm at Milton, two and a quarter miles away. Household rubbish was burnt to raise steam, to power the engines which pumped sewage to the Milton sewage farm. At the farm it was used as a fertiliser to grow the crops which fed the horses that pulled the carts which collected the rubbish and brought it to the pumping station. Even the ash from the burnt rubbish could be used in road making.1894, Original equipmentOriginally, the boilers used to provide steam to the sewage pumping engines were heated by the burning of waste collected around the city in destructor furnaces, these are the only near complete examples surviving. It represents a typical early design and layout of a good medium-sized municipal destructor, buildings, and its equipment and chimney.The museum's main attraction are two Hathorn Davey steam engines, one of which is fully operational and often runs on steam weekends. The purpose of these engines were to lift foul water (sewage and rain water) from the sump immediately below it to the sewage farm at Milton, the total lift being about 43 ft. These engines were designed to pump 250,000 gallons of sewage per hour, a job which they undertook until 1968, when a new electric engine house was built adjacent to the station, although this site shut down in 1994.The chimney shaft is 175 ft. in height, octagonal with square base, lined with; fire-bricks for a height of 50 ft., and is 6 ft. 6 in. internal diameter at the top. In 1992 the chimney was laddered by Fred Dibnah, who undertook painting and pointing repairs and was featured in a BBC programme.For Cambridge Museum of Technology and beyond, use our Cambridge tour planner to get the most from your Cambridge vacation.
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Found this little gem late in our weekend stay, what a great place, run by enthusiasts. The building is a Victorian water treatment plant. This highlights our Victorian social values for the good of t... read more »
We popped here late in the day; we knew it was a small museum and didn't think it would take us that long to go round. We arrived in the pouring rain and dashed into the ticket office/shop - immediate... read more »
It's a small museum,but packed with interesting industrial machinery related to the old gas works.We went there when the steam pump wasn't running,which is once a month,so I would suggest going there ... read more »
We have visited the Museum several times over the years, mainly for special events. Last weekend was no exception - we came to see the sewer rats! Our oldest boy (9) was entranced by the vermin, and the rat catcher. For our youngest (6) the highlight was the running of the gas engine. We all enjoyed walking through the boiler/furnace room at dusk on a crisp winter's evening: very atmospheric! The museum is an absolute gem, and a tribute to the community who keep it going.
You get to see a lot of cool old equipment.
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