Elsecar Heritage Centre is a Living History centre in Elsecar, South Yorkshire. It also comprises various shops and an exhibition hall. It runs craft workshops, special events, and a monthly antiques fair. The building were originally used for various industries including Iron Forges, a distillery, and engineering workshops. These fell into decline when the coal mines in the village closed.
It also has its own railway station (called Rockingham Station) on the Elsecar Steam Railway and railway shed behind the main centre and during some special events trips are run to Hemingfield Basin. There are plans to extend the line to Cortonwood and build two stations (one at Cortonwood and the other at Hemingfield). The train depot contains a selection of steam locomotives as well as a Diesel Engine.
It also has the only Newcomen beam engine in the world to have remained in its original location. It was used to pump water out of Elsecar New Colliery and ran from 1795 until 1923 when is was replaced by Electric Pumps. It also ran briefly in 1928 when the electric pumps were overwhelmed by flooding. At its peak it could draw 600 gallons a minute. In 1972 the engine was classified as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The engine is not currently in working order but there are plans to restore it back to its original state.
By kjfitz @ 2007-08-14 11:13:41