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The Stretham Old Engine

The Stretham Old Engine Museum houses a fine example of a land drainage steam engine in a restored, tall-chimneyed brick engine house.


Dating from 1831, it is one of 90 steam pumping engines installed throughout the Fens to replace 800 windmills. It is the last to survive, having worked until 1925. During the great floods of 1919 it really earned its keep by working non-stop for 47 days and nights.

This unique insight into Fenland history and industrial archaeology is open on summer weekends and on certain dates. The engine and its wooden scoop-wheel are rotated.

Inaddition, an archimedean wooden screw pump, an 1829 vertical steam engine, a lister compressor set, a 1925 mirrlees diesel engine and gwynnes pump and an 1870 easton amos and anderson vertical pump, with a display of many old fen tools are displayed.

A visit to the Stretham Old Engine Museum Ely is a must for people glad to quit the usual tourist trail and willing to indulge in a bit of Fenland history and industrial archaeology. Close to the village of Stretham near Ely this land drainage pumping station (now disused) is scheduled as an Ancient Monument and has been restored by the Stretham Engine Trust.