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Thomas Newcomen Engine

Thomas Newcomen Engine
Thomas Newcomen Engine
Thomas Newcomen Engine
Thomas Newcomen Engine

One of the few surviving 'Atmospheric Engines'. Built in 1720 to Thomas Newcomen's original design, this is the oldest preserved steam engine in the world and can be seen with its original beam and piston in motion, though, sadly, no longer powered by steam.

Facilities

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

Operator

Dartmouth Tourist Information Centre

Address

Dartmouth Tourist Information Centre, The Engine House Mayors Avenue Dartmouth Devon TQ6 9YY

  • 01803 834 224
  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • View website

Open days

Summer: Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun closes 1400. Winter: Mon-Fri closes 1630, Wed closes 1300.

Travel

By Bus: X81

By Rail: Kingswear (Paignton & Dartmouth Railway) / 1 mile

The engine was built about 1720 and was first used to pump out the Griff Colliery in Staffordshire. It was moved and rebuilt several times before ending up in Hawkesbury Junction, Warwickshire pumping water into a canal, where it retired from work in 1913. In 1964, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Thomas Newcomen's birth, it was reassembled in Dartmouth, the home of its inventor, by the Newcomen Society.

The Dartmouth Engine shows most of the features of the earliest Newcomen Engines. It has a simple, untrussed, wooden beam with arch heads, chain connections and wooden spring-beams, all believed to be original. The valve mechanism is more recent, but is activated automatically by a plug-rod, as in the early engines. However, there is one significant later feature in the shape of a 'pickle-pot condenser, fitted directly beneath the cylinder.

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