Vintage Story: Mount Crosby Pumping Station

pumping station 4

Here at The Old Farmhouse, we are rural enough that we are on a septic system, there is no public transport to speak of and we don’t even feature on the postie’s rounds: instead our mail is pigeon-holed at the tiny old post office up the road (but that’s another story!). We are, however, connected to the town water supply. The water pressure here is phenomenal, causing an explosion of powerfully gushing water whenever you turn on the tap!  This is hardly surprising when you delve into Mount Crosby history a little….

In the late 1880s Brisbane was in the grip of a water crisis so it was decided to construct a pumping station, reservoir on the side of Mount Crosby and a pipeline through which the water could gravitate towards the city.

The Mount Crosby Pumping Station Under Construction
The Mount Crosby Pumping Station under construction
A bullock dray brings the boiler through the forest in 1891
A bullock dray brings a boiler through the forest in 1891

In late 1891, the huge steam-powered pumps, reaching 27m in height, were cranked into action providing 45 million litres of water to Brisbane each day and from then, served much of the South-East with water for 115 years.

pumping station 10
Pumping engine
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Standpipe and reservoir

Electricity replaced steam power in 1949 and the beautiful old chimney was removed in 1958.


The pumping station is just a short stroll from The Old Farmhouse and I often like to wander down there to admire the gorgeous architecture – a thing of beauty unlike many of today’s industrial buildings.

IMG_2990Don’t you just love the round arches, the old brick, and the details in the cornices and architraves? A piece of Brisbane history right here in my little village!

IMG_2986So, whenever you turn on a tap in Brisbane, your water may just be coming from around here – as they say, “All pipes (well most of them) lead to Mount Crosby.”

Thanks to the Mount Crosby Historical Society for the facts and figures. The black and white photographs are not subject to copyright. Other photographs are my own.


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One thought on “Vintage Story: Mount Crosby Pumping Station

  1. I particularly like the traditional curved arches constructed with a key stone and the cor belled brickwork. Virtually a lost art.

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