London Museum or Water and Steam
The heart of the museum is its collection of magnificent steam pumping engines. These comprise the Cornish engines, which are in their original engine houses, and the rotative engines, which have been collected by the museum trust from pumping stations across the country. Together the collection demonstrates the major developments in steam engine technology. In addition to these engines, we have also collected examples of diesel, electric, water and animal powered pumping engines.
Every weekend throughout the year you can see either the Cornish or rotative engines in action. Steam is generated by a 1927 Lancashire boiler, originally from the Battle Hospital, Reading, and donated to the museum in 1975. Its working pressure is restricted to 40 p.s.i. as this is the pressure which our Cornish engines require. Unfortunately the cost of gas to operate the boiler has now risen to over £25,000 per year. Therefore we are unable to operate the Cornish engines every weekend, as they consume some 36% of the steam generated by the boiler. Full details of our operating schedule are listed in the Visiting Us section of this website.