The Kirkaldy Testing Museum preserves a unique Victorian Materials Testing Machine in working order in the premises built to house it. It tells the story of the Kirkaldy family who ran the business for almost 100 years and the wider history of materials testing.
The museum occupies the ground floor and basement of 99 Southwark Street in the Bankside area just south of The Tate Modern This building was built in 1874 specifically to house "Kirkaldy's Testing and Experimenting Works". It was a place where experiments took place on materials to determine their strength. This was done primarily using Kirkaldy's own design of testing machine. You may be wondering why it is in this particular location rather than in a northern city or more obviously industrial area of London but 130 years ago this area was a hive of industry. Very different to what it is now. Also the location of the testing works is near to the headquarters of industry, the engineering institutions, Government and Parliament.