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Kirkaldy Testing Museum

Discover the machine which tested some of the world's most iconic infrastructures.


Discover David Kirkaldy's Universal Testing Machine in its authentic Victorian workshop, just a block south of Tate Modern and the riverside. As well as the elegant, purpose-built warehouse building, the Universal Testing Machine has also been listed as Grade II* by Historic England and it's still working today!

See where samples from iconic infrastructure projects from London and around the world were sent for destruction testing. Samples from Blackfriars and Hammersmith Bridges, and the Skylon were tested here. So were samples of the Tay Bridge for forensic analysis after the disaster of 1879.

Universal Testing Machine
Visit the Kirkaldy Testing Museum and see the machine that has tested some of the city’s most famous infrastructures © Kirkaldy Testing Museum/


Talk and test demonstration
6pm - 8pm

The fascinating story of David Kirkaldy's Universal Testing Machine will be celebrated in a special evening event, outside of our usual First Sunday monthly opening. The event will be a chance to find out more about the world's first independent commercial materials testing house and the machine - at over 47-feet long a true giant of London's story in every sense - where many of the structures we take for granted today were tested.

See, smell and hear about Victorian ingenuity in action. Enjoy a talk about the machine, then see it doing what it does best, testing metal to destruction!

Suggested donation £5 (£4 concessions). Refreshments will be available.


Kirkaldy Testing Museum
99 Southwark Street

Entrance fee: £5
Concessions: £4

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