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Agnes

A horizontal, tandem, compound, condensing engine, which was built in 1909 by  Pollit & Wigzell , Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire. It was commissioned by J.A.S. Watkinson & Sons Ltd. to run the machinery in their woollen mill at Washpit Mill, Holmfirth, Yorkshire.


The engine was ordered as 500 HP at 70 rpm with a steam pressure of 120 psi, at an initial cost of £1637.


Some time during her working life Agnes was upgraded to 700 HP, by increasing the working steam pressure to 160 psi and increasing the speed to 80 rpm.

On 16 Jan 1980, after some 70 years of hard toil, the engine was stopped, Westwood Yarns being the owners at that time.
Agnes was generously donated to the museum by Brian and Ann Priest of Westwood Yarns in 1998.
A team from the museum then had the difficult and challenging task of dismantling the engine and transporting it to the museum at Brodsworth. Often working under cramped conditions and very little in the way of lifting beams etc. they achieved their goal in just 8 weeks.


By now a band of dedicated volunteers had been formed to help with the development of the museum. Before work could start on the rebuilding, a special pit had to be dug out and concrete foundations and pillars constructed to support over 60 tons of engineering excellence. She was first steamed in the museum on 20 Oct 1999, just 12 months from the start of dismantling. A remarkable achievement by the full time and volunteer workers.

Rescue & Rebuild of Agnes

Technical Details

Horizontal, tandem, compound, condensing


Pollit & Wigzell, Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire


High Pressure (HP) 18 ins. diameter

Low Pressure (LP) 35 ins. Diameter


48 ins.


Corliss valves on both the HP and LP cylinders.

Unusually, there are three eccentrics. One operating all the inlet valves, the other two are operating the HP and LP exhaust valves respectively


The ropewheel is 16 ft. diameter, 40 ins. wide and weighs in the region of

25 tons

It has eight spokes and segments with eighteen rope grooves to drive

1.75 ins. diameter cotton ropes.


A Lumb governor controls the cut-off to the HP inlet valves only,

(originally a Whitehead governor was fitted).

The cut-off to the exhaust valves are set manually.


A Pollit & Wigzell, inline, condensing air pump, 18 ins. bore, was fitted from new.



Type of Engine:-


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Flywheel:-





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