Discover how steam power shaped the modern world. Recommended for KS3 upwards (ages 11+).
For over 300 years steam has been the driving force behind factories, shipping and the railways—all essential for trade. Even now, steam turbines generate the majority of the electricity we use every day, both at home and at work.
The Energy Hall showcases an unparalleled collection of historic full-size engines and models. Displays range from a huge red Mill Engine, made by Burnley Ironworks Company in 1903, to engines built by engineer James Watt.
Through working models and full-size engines, animations, interactive screens and more, students will learn about the story of steam power—as well as the lives of its inventors and users—and the extraordinary part they played in shaping the modern world.
The gallery includes an area called James Watt and our World, featuring James Watt's workshop, preserved as it was when he died in 1819.
James Watt and our World
This gallery is open access and you can explore at any time during your visit. We do not allocate specific time slots so you can fit it around other activities that you may have booked.
This page is for educational groups; for general visitor information, please see the main gallery page.