The beam engine was built by the Yorkshire company Wood Brothers in 1886 and is a masterpiece of Victorian engineering. The engine is a 100 horsepower, dual pump, set in an eight column framework with a 27 feet diameter flywheel and was capable of pumping 4 million gallons per day.
The Beam stands 17 feet (5 metres) above floor level and is almost 21 feet (6 metres) in length. The flywheel is 27 feet (8 metres) in diameter and weighs approximately 17 tons..
The engine is noted for its size and is free standing on a large heavy cast iron base. The eight supporting columns are of the Doric style, in hollow cast iron. Part of the unique character of the Markfield Engine derives from the high quality of the decoration and the completeness in carrying it through the architectural order. Cast iron lends itself extremely well to achieving a precise finish, and both the detail design and quality of the castings are an outstanding example of the craftsmanship and engineering skills of its makers. The general design of decoration of the structure, notably the use of the acanthus leaf motif, follows the “only the best” attitude of local councils of the day.