Prestongrange Beam Engine
|Date||4 April 2012|
|Location||Morrison’s Haven, Prestonpans, East Lothian||NT 37108 73647; 55.95170°N, 3.00871°W|
The Prestongrange Coal and Iron Company installed this second-hand beam engine, which had previously served in four different mines in Cornwall, in 1874 to drain the coal mine at Prestongrange. The front wall of the Pumping House was built 7 ft thick in order to support the main pivot bearing of the huge cast-iron beam. The pump rod alone weighs over 100 tons. The beam engine continued in operation until 1954, when it was superseded by electric pumps. It is Scotland’s only beam engine remaining at its site of operation.
Prestongrange, located between the towns of Musselburgh and Prestonpans in East Lothian, is now an open-air industrial museum and is a site of great historical importance. Records of extraction of coal there date back to 1194. There was a glassworks there in the 17th century and a pottery in the 18th. Prestongrange Colliery was established in 1820 and was in operation until 1962. The site was also home to a large brickworks which closed in 1975.