Newcomen Beam Engine

The Newcomen Beam Engine is one of South Yorkshire’s finest surviving legacies of the Industrial Revolution. Built in 1795 the Engine was designed to extract water from Elsecar New Colliery to allow the exploration of deeper coal seams. The Beam Engine ran from 1795 to 1923 when it was replaced by electric pumps, at its peak it could draw up to 600 gallons per minute. The Newcomen Beam Engine is the only one of its kind in the world to remain in its original location.

In 1972 the engine was classified as a scheduled ancient monument and is one of the top 10 key industrial sites on English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register due to its 'outstanding importance to England's industrial past'.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the engine a grant for a full restoration in 2014. The two-year project, run by Barnsley Council, saw the world-famous beam engine, shaft, and engine house restored to full working order and conserved within the wider site of the Elsecar Village Conservation Area.

The Newcomen engine now runs on hydraulics and is demonstrated for members of the general public. Please note due to Covid-19 the demonstration is only on the outside of the building with a site tour included and tours are limited to six people. Make sure you book in advance to ensure your place by ringing 01226 740203 or emailing Check out the what's on diary for the current dates of upcoming demonstrations and tours.