Situated in an old pumping station first constructed in 1838, the Kew Bridge Steam Museum provides a fascinating insight into how water gets to our homes.
It holds a large collection of different steam engines, many of which were used to pump water to London homes for years, along with the fantastic Water for Life Gallery, which explores the history of water supply and usage in London.
Difficult to miss from a distance thanks to the elaborate Italian-style Standpipe Tower, the building held steam engines up until 1944 and was used to pump water between 1838 and 1958, when the engines (both electric and steam by then) were retired.
The centre of the large building is the Steam Hall, which holds the rotative engines and smaller engines from several manufacturers, each explaining the use of steam in an imaginative way, but the highlight is probably the 90″ engine, the largest working beam engine in the world. Manufactured in 1846, it could singlehandedly pump 6.4 million gallons of water to London every day, and is still fired up for visitors to see on occasional weekends.
The Steam Hall rotative engines only are in steam most weekends, with the Cornish engines only running on selected weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays (see the website for full details of planned runs).
|Kew Bridge Steam Museum|
|Address: Green Dragon Lane, TW8 OEN, London, UK|
|Admission Price: £9.50/£3.50|
|Opening Times: Tues – Sun 11.00AM – 4.00PM|