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5 December 2010

Visit the Kirkaldy Testing Museum

Today is the first Sunday of the month, and the first Sunday of every month sees the opening of one of London's more unusual museums, the Kirkaldy Testing Museum.

This provides a rare opportunity for curious souls to visit the site of David Kirkaldy's Victorian testing works at 99 Southwark Street, in Southwark, and see the Museum's central - and most important - feature. David Kirkaldy's huge testing machine, was constructed in Leeds especially for the space in the 1860s, and built to test the strength and breaking points of various materials, and measuring 47 feet 7 inches long, and 116 tons in weight.

It's a fascinating place to visit, and a tour consists of a DVD charting the history of the Kirkaldy project, followed by a tour from one of the enthusiastic volunteers who come once a month to run and maintain the machine, and talk to the odd visitor along the way.

For more information on this great little museum, which is free to visit, visit the Wikipedia page here.


  1. It is really interesting, though sadly you don't actually get to see them breaking stuff.

  2. You can now see things being broken. We did a couple of tests today for visitors.

    Also the museum now has commercial landlords so needs lots of donations to keep us going. We also need lots more helpers as only opening one day a month means that we cannot really make enough to keep going. If we had lots of people we could open more often.

    From Colin - a volunteer at the museum.