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Abbey Pumping Station

Glimpse into the history of Leicester’s industrial, scientific and technological heritage at this museum set inside a former sewage pumping station.

The Abbey Pumping Station is a museum devoted to science and technology. The exhibits, which entertain visitors of all ages, showcase the industrial heritage of Leicester. Discover everything from historic steam engines to vintage vehicles and even an interactive toilet. Ride a narrow-gauge railway and look for ghosts in the supposedly haunted engine room basement.

The museum is housed in a 19th-century building that, up until 1964, was used to pump sewage from the city to a nearby treatment plant. Admire the building’s grand Victorian-era architecture and the massive steam shovel, which stands outside near the main entrance.

Among the standout items on show are the four huge, restored beam engines created by a local engineering company. These engines once powered the transportation of sewage to a disposal site at Beaumont Leys, northwest of the city. The steam-operated engines have been restored to working order and are demonstrated at various events throughout the year.

Head to the exhibit on public health and browse a curious collection of sanitary artifacts. These include examples of Roman water pipes and Victorian toilets as well as a door with numerous synonyms for bodily excrement scrawled all over it. Flush a toilet and watch as a fake poop makes its journey down a drain.

Browse an interesting display of vehicles, including steam locomotives and trams. On certain special days, visitors are welcome to step aboard for rides along the museum’s narrow-gauge railway track. Occasional guided tours bring visitors down to the museum’s basement, a spot some believe to be haunted. Ask museum staff about the tragic tale of Robert Richardson, an engineering laborer who died here after falling from the building’s roof.

The museum is a 10-minute drive from Leicester’s city center. On-site parking is available and public buses stop nearby. Visit other attractions in the area such as the National Space Centre.

The Abbey Pumping Station is open daily from February to October. Adults are required to pay for admission, though children can enter for free. Find further details about special events on the museum’s official website.


Guide to Exploring Abbey Pumping Station


Top Hotel Deals

See all 306 Properties near Abbey Pumping Station
Novotel Leicester £63
Novotel Leicester

Novotel Leicester

2 Great Central Street, Leicester, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Leicester, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St. Nicholas Church and De Montfort University. National Space Centre and University of Leicester are also within 2 miles (3 km). Leicester Station is 18 minutes by foot.

    Jaylets Budget Leicester
    Jaylets Budget Leicester

    Jaylets Budget Leicester

    18 Corporation Rd, Leicester, England
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Leicester, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Abbey Pumping Station and National Space Centre. De Montfort University and University of Leicester are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Showcase Apartments - Highcross House Apart Hotel £39
      Showcase Apartments - Highcross House Apart Hotel

      Showcase Apartments - Highcross House Apart Hotel

      Highcross House, 125-127 Vaughan Way, Leicester, England
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Leicester City Centre, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of St. Nicholas Church and De Montfort University. National Space Centre and University of Leicester are also within 2 miles (3 km). Leicester Station is 17 minutes by foot.

        Comfort Hotel Leicester
        Comfort Hotel Leicester

        Comfort Hotel Leicester

        23-25 Loughborough Road, Leicester, England
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Leicester, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Abbey Pumping Station and National Space Centre. De Montfort University and University of Leicester are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          EMPIRE HOTEL
          EMPIRE HOTEL

          EMPIRE HOTEL

          19-25 Loughborough Rd, Leicester, England
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Leicester, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Abbey Pumping Station and National Space Centre. De Montfort University and University of Leicester are also within 3 miles (5 km).

            Abbey Hotel by Trivelles £36
            Abbey Hotel by Trivelles

            Abbey Hotel by Trivelles

            104 Saint Margaret's Way, Leicester, England
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Leicester, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Abbey Pumping Station and National Space Centre. De Montfort University and University of Leicester are also within 3 miles (5 km). Leicester Station is 29 minutes by foot.

              Holiday Inn Leicester £49
              Holiday Inn Leicester

              Holiday Inn Leicester

              129 Saint Nicholas Circle, Leicester, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Leicester, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jewry Wall and De Montfort University. National Space Centre and University of Leicester are also within 2 miles (3 km). Leicester Station is 18 minutes by foot.

                ibis Leicester City £36
                ibis Leicester City

                ibis Leicester City

                St. George's Way, Constitution Hill, Leicester, England
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Leicester, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Curve Theatre, Athena Conference Centre and New Walk Museum. Haymarket Shopping Centre and Highcross Shopping Centre are also within 15 minutes. Leicester Station is 7 minutes by foot.