London Museum of Water and Steam

The London Museum of Water & Steam (formerly Kew Bridge Steam Museum) is one of London’s most significant Victorian visitor attractions. It houses some of the world’s rarest working steam engines still in their original location and tells the incredible story of how the Victorians cleaned up London’s water supply – and in doing so created the blue print for the modern city of London as we know it today.

The new Waterworks Gallery takes you on a journey through time; descending deep down under a floating city of London where you can see all the pipe and tunnel work needed to keep a modern city going. The Museum has four wonderful model houses that show you how water was used in the home from the 17th Century to the present day, as well as crawl-through tunnels and walk-through sewers. Splash the Museum cat can also be found all around the Museum hiding fun facts for our little visitors.

The outdoor Splash Zone, which provides an opportunity for real interactive water fun, is proving to be a firm favourite with families as well as grown-ups that are young at heart! As well 3 working steam engines which operate every weekend we also have a narrow gauge steam railway locomotive that you can ride on and lots of fun events throughout the year.

Charles Dickens, who visited our site in 1850 can also be heard telling you all about our 90 Inch Cornish Beam Engine, which he called a monster! I am not surprised as this engine is over 5 storeys high and just happens to be the biggest in the world still working in its original location. This engine can be seen working under steam one weekend a month and during our special Steam Up events when we also fire up our Victorian steam fire engine.


Look out for…

  • The 90 inch Engine - The largest working beam engine in the world. It was built in 1846 by Sandys, Carne & Vivian of Copperhouse Foundry, Hayle, Cornwall and was the first engine built in Cornwall specially for waterworks duty.
  • The Waterworks Railway - Many Victorian waterworks had their own railway. At Kew Bridge this is demonstrated by a short line featuring the "Wren" class locomotive Thomas Wicksteed, which is typical of a waterworks engine.
  • The Splash Zone - Be amazed by unexpected ways of moving water using gears, wheels, buckets, levers, pumps, pipes and more!

Did you know?…

  • Our mighty steam engines pumped water as far as Paddington and supplied the whole of west London until 1944.

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All information is drawn from or provided by the museums themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.