In 1902, the Metropolitan Water Board was set up to take over the eight water companies of London. This body took on the construction of the two nearby reservoirs and built the engine and boiler
houses which are still seen either way of Country Way, leading to the M3.
The coal for the boiler house was brought up from Hampton Water Works by a small two-foot gauge railway system.
The first engine house was equipped with five Lilleshall triple expansion engines, which started work in 1906.
With the rising population of London and the call for more clean water, the Metropolitan Water Board built a new engine house and boiler house with eight coal-fired boilers, which worked two triple expansion engines.
Outside large filtration beds were laid
out, which still attract a large number of wildfowl.
Water is gravity-fed to the plant from the Queen Mary reservoir in Wraysbury, the King George VI and other reservoirs in the district, and is still being pumped through in the white 1905 building to the north of the main road, thought to be the first pre-stressed concrete building.
The historic Portlane or Feltham Brook, which runs from Bedfont mainly in pipes, runs in the open through the site, while traffic for the motorway speeds overhead.
The engine house, with its much-admired red brick and stone
facing, has been designated a National Monument by English Heritage and is often used by TV and filmmakers because of its unique architecture. In recent years, the Kempton Great Engines Trust has restored the great steam engines and are at present relaying the railway lines that used to bring the coal from Hampton.
There will be a number of 'steaming weekends' right through the year. * There is more information on www.kemptonsteam.org.