Essex Group Visit to Museum of Power

Essex Group Visit to Museum of Power

07/10/2023 - 07/10/2023
General interest,
Hatfield Road
CM9 6QA, Maldon
United Kingdom

Event details

Saturday 7 October 2023, 10am

The SPAB Essex Regional Group has arranged a visit to the Museum of Power at Langford nearby and Beeleigh Mill.

Museum of Power

The Langford pumping station, which is now home to the Museum of Power, was originally designed to provide a daily supply of seven million gallons of drinking water and this, together with the existing wells, were expected to meet anticipated demand for many years ahead.

Until the arrival of the Southend Waterworks Company (SWC) in the early 1920s, Langford (population at that time 182) was a small, sleepy Essex village: main industry, agriculture.  The new waterworks complex was completed in 1927 but not officially opened until September 1929.

Set in seven acres of grounds with the River Blackwater running through, the museum’s main exhibits are housed in the 1920s Steam Pumping Station, the former generator hall and boiler house.

Pride of place is given to the magnificent Lilleshall triple-expansion steam engine which was returned to steam for the first time in 50 years in April 2011. As a result in September 2013 the Museum was awarded “Engineering Heritage Listed Status” by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The Museum includes numerous power-related exhibits that will interest young and the not so young, with many working examples of various power sources, machinery, equipment and tools.

We will be taking lunch in the former workshop, the Steam Pump Tea Rooms.

Outside in the grounds more attractions can be found including a model village, picnic area and the ever-popular miniature railway.

Beeleigh Mill

Beeleigh mill was a large flour mill on the river Chelmer near Maldon, Essex. It had two water wheels driving 10 stones (later 12), to which was added a separate building which housed a steam-powered beam engine driving five millstones. The main building housing the water-powered wheels burnt down in a fire in 1875.

The site, which is Grade II*, now comprises the building housing the steam engine and the drive gearing for its millstones, the brick housing for one of the waterwheels, and the two adjacent brick-lined barge docks used for loading flour for shipment to London.

The steam mill is divided into 2 rooms, separated by a brick partition. The smaller north-western part is full height and contains the complete iron, double-acting Wentworth compound steam beam engine which was installed in 1845. Alongside is an ‘Elephant’ boiler with 2 safety valves and firebox. It is the only surviving example of this type of boiler in England, though it was more popular in France and Belgium.

The ground floor of the larger room contains the drive gears including a circular-plan iron hurst with an iron upright shaft with great spur wheel, which drives each of the five pairs of stones.  The upper floor has the emplacements for the stones. The drive shafts are in place, but the stones themselves are no longer there.

Although not currently visible, a hide-out was built during WW2 under the floor of the steam mill for an auxiliary unit to hide should the enemy invade. Access was from a trapdoor in the building, with an escape route, which came out in the tail-race tunnel from the nearer mill-race. After the war, this hide-out was filled in by the army.


9.30am     Arrive for start of visit at 10am. Tea/coffee can be purchased in the Steam Pump Tea Room.
10am        Tour of Museum
1pm          Finger buffet lunch in the Steam Pump Tea Room (included in visit price)
2.15pm     Depart for Beeleigh Mill on foot or by car
2.30pm     Tour of Beeleigh Mill
4.30pm     Tea/coffee (included) on completion of tour

Lunch Menu

Sandwich Selection
Mini Quiche assortment
Savoury Eggs
Crisp Selection

Fruit Skewers
Cake Selection

Tea and Coffee


The fee for the visit is £23 per person. This includes the visits to both the Museum of Power and Beeleigh Mill, buffet lunch in the Steam Pump Tea Room and tea, coffee and biscuits at the Mill.

A more detailed programme along with maps and directions will be sent to registered participants the week before the event.

Multiple bookings

As long as there is space on the event, we usually allow you to book for both yourself and a guest. When completing the booking form, you will be asked to select the number of people and put in your own details on the first page, then to put in your second person's details on the next page. The event fee shown on each of these pages is for the individual person - you will be shown the total amount due once you get to the summary page.

About the Essex Regional Group

The SPAB Essex Regional Group was formed in 2000 and has been active ever since. The types of visits are fun, interesting and educational with an annual social event, normally in an historic building. Our participants vary from interested SPAB members wanting to enhance their knowledge of historic buildings to professionals using the visits as part of their continuing professional development programme.


Anything we can do to make this course more accessible for you? Please email the organiser before booking.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Getting here