KTM from a distanceThe works with neighbouring buildings
Southwark plaqueHistorical plaque

Introduction

The museum occupies the ground floor and basement of 99 Southwark Streeet in the Southwark 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.

Southwark Council have made available old maps of the area.
1896 map of the area.

The Objectives of the Museum

To preserve David Kirkaldy's machine in good working order and close to its original condition

To retain as far as possible the Victorian character of the Works

To explain to the public Kirkaldy's role in developing quality control by regular monthly opening and special open days

To store and exhibit the Kirkaldy archive, and develop a library on the history of materials testing

To build and maintain a representative collection of working testing machines