Lead Mining Museum at Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, Peak District
The Lead Mining Museum at Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, is owned by the Peak District Mines Historical Society and is in the Pavilion Building alongside the River Derwent. They also run the nearby Temple Mine, where you can see what a lead mine was like.
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The museum has a fine collection of old mining equipment and artefacts from the former lead mines of the area including several very impressive pumps of various types - the Derbyshire mines were plagued by water problems, so pumping was very important and a major contributor to the cost of extracting the ore. There are also some small mock-ups of sections of a lead mine complete with sound effects, and lots of illustrative panels explaining the history of lead-mining, how the industry developed and what the work of a miner was like. The geological section is very informative and has some fine specimens, and finally there's a cafe. It's well worth a visit.
Temple Mine is just up the road opposite. It's actually a small former fluorspar mine rather than a lead mine, and was opened as recently as 1922 - quite a contrast with Rutland Cavern up the hill (at the Heights of Abraham). The display attempts to recreate the atmosphere within a small lead/fluorspar mine of this century, so it's interesting but don't expect anything very historical. There is a small railway for carrying out the ore, a chute and hopper system for taking the ore down to the lower level and a view of the mineral vein the miners were extracting. The kids can pan for lead or gold if they wish.
Lead Mining Museum, Matlock Bath Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge
How to get there
the museum is housed in the Grand Pavilion bulding which lies alongside the A6 Derby-Matlock road in Matlock Bath. Short-term car parking (pay and display) is adjacent, and long-term parking is available up Temple Road opposite.
By Bus: the Trans-Peak Derby-Manchester bus passes the door, as do several local buses.
By Train: the Derby-Matlock line has a regular service and Matlock Bath station is about 400m from the Museum.
When is it open?
Mining Museum is open:
Summer 1st April - 31st October: open every day 10am 5pm
Winter 1st November - 31st March: Wed, Thur and Fri 11am 3pm, Sat and Sun 11am 4pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday in the winter season.
Temple Mine Tours (*numbers are limited):
Summer 1st April - 31st October: Daily 12 noon and 2pm*
Winter 1st November - 31st March: Weekends only 12noon and 2pm*
What does it cost?
Museum: £4.00 for an adult, £3.50 concessions, £3.00 for children and £12.00 for a family ticket.
Mine: £4.50 for an adult, £4.00 concessions, £3.50 for children and £13.50 for a family ticket.
Mine and Museum: £7.00 for an adult, £6.00 concessions, £5.00 for children and £20.00 for a family ticket.
Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary. See this link for more information on prices and opening
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