Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you are planning on travelling distance to attractions, we would recommend that you contact the venues directly in advance to avoid disappointment.

If you, or any of your party have a new persistant cough, or develop a fever of 38C, we would instead advise you to use the NHS's dedicated website for professional advice.

Newcomen Engine House

The  Dartmouth  Newcomen  Engine  was  built   in  about  1720  and  was  first  used  to  pump   out  the  Griff  Colliery  in  Staffordshire . It  was moved and rebuilt several times  before ending up in Hawkesbury Junction, Warwickshire pumping water into a canal, where it retired from work in 1913 . In 1964 , to  celebrate  the  300th  anniversary  of  Thomas Newcomen's  birth , it  was  reassembled  in  Dartmouth , the home  of  its inventor, by  the  Newcomen  Society . The  Dartmouth  Engine  shows  most  of  the  features  of  the  earliest  Newcomen  Engines . It  has  a  simple , untrussed , wooden  beam  with  arch heads , chain  connections  and  wooden  spring-beams , all  believed  to  be  original . The  valve  mechanism  is  more  recent , but  is  activated  automatically  by  a  plug-rod , as in the  early  engines . However , there  is one  significant  later  feature in  the  shape   of  a  'pickle - pot  condenser , fitted  directly beneath  the cylinder . The  engine  can  be  operated  by  a  hydraulic  mechanism , so  that  the  visitor  can  observe  the  the  movement  of  the  engine  and  the  operation  of  the  valves .
To  mark  the  300th  anniversary  of  the  first  Newcomen  Engine  in  1712 , the  Engine  House  is currently  being  updated  and  will  feature  new  graphics  panels  and  a  short  film  by  Adam  Hart - Davis , showing  the  working  of  a  Newcomen  Engine . There  will  also  be  series  of  linked  events  in  the  town , including  a  lecture  series  and  a  Steam  Fair . ( For  details  of  these  and  other  events ,  see  the  linked  'Newcomen  300'  entry  in  the guide  or  contact   the  TIC ).

  • Currently: Clear sky, 10° C
  • Friday: Medium-level cloud, 13° C
  • Saturday: Low-level cloud, 13° C