The National Coal Mining Museum for England (an Anchor Point of ERIH, The wikipedia:European Route of Industrial Heritage) is based on the site of the old Caphouse Colliery at Overton, Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. It opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum, it was granted 'national' status in 1995.
History[edit | edit source]
This coal mine site was worked from at least 1789 until the seam was exhausted in 1985. The miners were transferred to the 'Denby Grange Colliery' at nearby Netherton, Wakefield. Following the UK Miners' Strike (1984–1985) work was started to convert it into a museum of coal mining.
The Museum[edit | edit source]
The museum offers guided 'underground' tours where visitors can see the conditions miners worked in and the tools and machines they used as the industry and the mine developed through the years. The extensive archive contains old issues of "Coal News" and details of collieries throughout England. The site is spread over a large site with a number of seperate buildings, some are original and others are mocked up to look in an victorian industrial style. Above ground there is a well resourced visitor centre including exhibitions on the social and industrial history of the mines, meet former working pit ponies, ride the paddy train, follow the nature trail, or play in the adventure playground.
A number of restored mining machines are placed around the site and stored in a new build storage shed with a yard full of machinery awaiting restoration in the old pit workshops which house some exhibits on the tour.
Events[edit | edit source]
- Main article: NCMM Classic Vehicle Meet
The museum has a modern conference facility and is used for corporate events. It is also host to the Yorkshire branch of the HCVS who have held a Classic vehicle meet in the Museums carpark
Media[edit | edit source]
The NCMM has occasionally featured in television programmes. In June 2005, Most Haunted Live! visited the location on Summer Solstice, while in 2006, Caphouse Colliery appeared in an advertising campaign for Pot Noodle, purporting to be a Noodle Mine in South Wales.
Location[edit | edit source]
The museum is located on the A642 road, near Horbury, Wakefield in a village called Overton half way between Wakefield and Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England. It is near the M1 motorway and is signposted from there. The signs from junction 40 of the M1 take motorists through Wakefield's Lupset estate to get to the museum, an alternative route can be through Ossett, however this is not suitable for coaches and larger vehicles.
Traffic approaching from south Manchester is advised to avoid going through the middle of Huddersfield.
There is ample free car and coach parking for Museum visitors and local bus services run within easy walking distance. From Wakefield or Huddersfield, the Huddersfield Bus Company (ex Yorkshire Traction/Stagecoach) 232 bus stops at the Reindeer pub with a short walk to the Museum. The 128 service runs from Wakefield to Dewsbury past the Museum.
See also[edit | edit source]
There are several other museums and visitor attractions that have been created from former industrial sites like this.
- Rhondda Heritage Park and Big Pit National Coal Museum in the South Wales Valleys
- The Eden Project was built in a former China clay quarry in Cornwall.
- The Museum of Lead Mining in Wanlockhead on the B797 between Mennock (A76) and Abington (A702 at Junc 13 M74) Scotland 
- The Tom Leonard Mining Museum based in an ironstone mine in Cleveland, England 
References / sources[edit | edit source]
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