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I visited the Markfield Beam Engine and Museum on Bank Holiday Monday, drawn by the promise of one of the “steam days” advertised on the website. Located in Markfield Park near Seven Sisters, in the South Tottenham area, the museum is small but inviting and there was quite a crowd when I turned up.

Markfield Road Pumping Station was originally opened in 1864. The beam engine was built in 1886 to pump sewage from Tottenham towards the Beckton Works. The engine stopped running frequently in 1905 and was closed for good in 1964. In recent years the park, building and engine have reopened for public access, with the help of various grants and many volunteers.

The building now contains a small museum exploring the history of the site. You can go into the room next door to view the beam engine, a masterpiece of Victorian engineering with ornate decoration. The highlight of the museum is being able to watch it work – demonstrations take place on “steam days” throughout the year. You can check these dates on the website – the next is the Spring Bank Holiday Monday. Check out my short video below. It’s rather hypnotic!

The Markfield Beam Engine and Museum is a worthwhile place to visit. It’s small, but good fun, and there’s a cafe next door, not to mention the large park, if you wanted to make an afternoon of it.

FACTS

Address: Markfield Road, London, N15 4RB

Website: mbeam.org

Opening Hours: Second and fourth Sundays of each month (April-September), second Sunday of each month (October-March), 11am-5pm. See website for “steam days”

Prices: Free

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