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“An 1833 steam engine still in perfect working order”

Pinchbeck Engine Museum
Ranked #7 of 26 things to do in Spalding
Attraction details
Reviewed 9 September 2016

The museum is (literally) built round a large steam engine, installed in 1833 to prevent flooding by pumping excess water into drainage channels. Why this was necessary, and how the engine works, is explained in excellent graphics, and there is also a very friendly and knowlegable curator giving guided tours and answering questions.
The museum will fascinate both lovers of old machinery and people interested in everyday life in the fens over the last 200 years.
Facilities include toilets (hooray!) and picnic tables (in a rural setting). Might be a good place to stop for a break when driving to a holiday on the coast.

Thank Simon O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2016

At the time of writing, the listing location WRONG. I have tried to correct it, and perhaps it get amended. However, until then, please not that the museum is NOT in Boston, it is on West Marsh Road, just east of the A16 at Pinchbeck PE11 3UW.

There is easy vehicle access but West Marsh Road is single track with passing places.

Presently the museum is open Wed-Fri only. There is a knowledgeable guide on site and on the day I visited, I was lucky enough to have his undivided attention.

The museum was once a working pumping station used in the time of flood or the risk of flood. It was replaced by modern machinery in recent years but fortunately retained as museum. It is an integral part of the history of Lincolnshire and the drainage of the Fens.

The building dates from 1833, and consists of several rooms and different levels, Sadly, it is not suitable for wheelchair access.

There are numerous information boards about the draining of the Fens, floods and the development of drainage. These are supported by a variety of interesting artefacts, both indoors and outside. A video is shown and the large pump can be demonstrated. The boiler is no longer fired. Demonstrations are powered by electric motor. Which is just as well because used a ton of coal a day and took 24 hours to be fully working. The operator had to stay on site all the time it was pumping! He had just a small bench near the boiler to rest on.

Outside was I surprised to find a small piece of narrow gauge railway track, a wagon chassis and a rail bending tool (a 'Jim Crow'). Such things would have been a familiar sight in bye-gone Lincolnshire on the 'Potato Railways', as well as is later years on various major construction works where temporary light railways were used.

This is an excellent place to visit and I spent well over an hour without really scratching the surface. I intend coming back. It's free, but donations welcome.

Thank Ken C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2016

This I thought is a 'man's' type of place to visit, I was wrong, I learnt a lot here about the Lincolnshire Fens and drainage, that sounds very boring but I assure you it's not. The machinery is amazing considering how old it is, and surprisingly quiet. If you are visiting the area please go to this place you won't be disappointed.

Thank caretakerlorna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2016

This is a gem of a museum. The core is the oldest of 3 pumping stations on the site whose mission sounds deceptively simple, to keep the surrounding land clear of water. Yet there is so much more to the museum. It's staffed by employees of the drainage authority who live and breathe The Fens drainage, its history and the trials and tribulations of keeping the sea out and crops well-watered, but not waterlogged. The core of the museum is the 19th century beam engine, originally steam-powered, but their are also displays of Fen history, tools to keep the dykes and drains clear (hands on if you want to try them) and an excellent introductory video. There's even free tea and coffee should you want it!

We intended to pay a brief visit to the museum, but stayed almost 2 hours and could have chatted to the guide for longer. Admission is free, though donations are solicited and we gave willingly for such a fantastic experience. The museum is on a minor road just off the main A16, slightly north of the Springfields shopping mall.

Very highly recommended.

Thank Rovingpublover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2016

This is a fantastic place to visit and the gentleman who showed us round was so nice, very, very knowledgeable and gave us so much of his time. Living in an area which has been drained made it all the more fascinating. The machinery is working and was turned on for us to see how it worked. We were then invited to watch a 10 minute video and was given a drink during watching. Can anyone ask for more from a free attraction, I have my doubts.
Huge thank you to the gentleman who showed us round one thing we regret is not getting his name to post on here.
If in or near Spalding why would you not go, it is wonderful.

Thank petertheb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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