Henderson Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO4 9JF
An impressive Victorian building containing a pair of classic Boulton Watt beam engines and pumps restored to their original 1887 condition.
In 2019 the Beam Engine and Gas Engine Houses will have open days on the following Sundays:
September 7-8 (weekend opening for Heritage Open Days)
The Beam Engine House and the Gas Engine House will be open from 11am - 5pm.
Please telephone 023 9283 4779 to confirm opening times before visiting. Please note Eastney Beam Engine will not be in steam until further notice.
Admission is free - the last admission is 30 minutes before closing. Access for disabled visitors is limited, so please phone for details. If you are travelling any distance, it is advisable to check opening times on the day 023 9283 4779.
Children aged under 13 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Information for schools/colleges and other groups
See how Victorian engineers overcame problems of sewage pollution that caused diseases such as cholera. This impressive Victorian building contains different spectacular engines and pumps. Click on the links below to download and print activity sheets for use during your visit.
Why was the beam engine house built?
Because the city of Portsmouth is a low-lying island with poor natural drainage, sewage and waste often polluted the water supply, resulting in many deaths from diseases such as cholera. A new drainage system was introduced in 1868 using gravity to move sewage across Portsea Island to Eastney, from where it was pumped out to sea.
As the city's population increased, more pumping power was needed and the beam engines that can still be seen today were installed. The engines played an important part in improving the health and living standards of everyone in Portsmouth. When they were retired from normal use, the beam engines were still kept in operating condition as a backup until 1954. Maintenance of the engines and pumps was discontinued after 1954.
Following extensive restoration, the Beam Engine House was opened to the public as an industrial museum in 1972. There is limited access for people in wheelchairs due to there being a number of steps. Please contact us for more information (Tel. 023 9283 4744 / 4737).