The Sanitary Question was the great environmental concern of the nineteenth century. The growth of great cities presented huge problems of water supply, sewage disposal and the disposal of the dead.
London’s increasing population created a major public-health crisis, and the resulting cemeteries, sewers and pumping stations remain as a testimony to the energy and ingenuity of Victorian engineers, landscape designers and architects.
This tour visited a range of cemeteries, crematoria and water-supply and sewerage monuments including Abney Park, Brompton, Highgate, Kensal Green and West Norwood cemeteries, Crossness, Kew Bridge, Kempton and Markfield pumping stations, Golders Green Crematorium, and – in Surrey – Brookwood Cemetery and Woking Crematorium which were linked with London by rail.
The Thames Barrier was included as an example of a twentieth-century response to an environmental threat alongside Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s nineteenth-century Metropolitan Main Drainage scheme.
The 80-page tour handbook describes and illustrates high-quality buildings, gigantic engineering works, and some of the most evocative and moving examples of Victorian architecture, landscaping, statuary and other monumental art.
For further information about some of the sites in the tour handbook, and much else about the Sanitary Question, please click here.
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