About Us

As a national museum the National Coal Mining Museum for England is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through the National Museum of Science & Industry. The Museum is also a registered charity (no.517325).

Admission to the museum is FREE.

We welcome the contributions that the public make to help us continue to tell the stories of coal mining. 

We normally suggest a £5 per person donation for visits underground (when it is open) and may charge for some special events.

How We Operate

The Museum is overseen by a Board of Trustees, who are responsible for the strategic direction of the Museum. Its members have experience and knowledge in areas that are able to support the Museum.

The Museum has four departments – Commercial, Curatorial, Finance and Mining. All departments at the Museum are essential to the achievement of the Museum's aims. For some departments there is a direct and immediate link between the Museum’s aims and their prime purpose, whereas for other departments there is a supporting role, which underpins the aims.

Museum's Mission Statement

The National Coal Mining Museum for England aims to keep coal mining alive by collecting and preserving the industry’s rich heritage, creating enjoyable and inspiring ways to learn for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Objectives of the Charity

To advance the education of the public in the history of mining in England by the provision and maintenance of a museum both underground and on the surface at the former Caphouse Colliery for the demonstration of past and contemporary mining methods and the exhibition of machinery and other items connected with mining and industrial archaeology.

Museum History

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is located at Caphouse Colliery, on the western edge of the Yorkshire coalfield, where mining has been carried out for centuries.

A plan dated 1791 showing workings from 1789 to 1795, includes a shaft on the Caphouse site. It is probably the oldest coal-mine shaft still in everyday use in Britain today.

Before 1827 the colliery was owned by the Milnes family, but then passed into the ownership of the Lister Kaye family, until 1917.

After 1917 the colliery was run by a company, which included the ex-manager Percy Greaves, a colliery owner in his own right. Around 1941 Arthur Sykes of Lockwood and Elliott bought the colliery and remained as owner until Nationalisation in 1947. By 1985 the coal at Caphouse was exhausted and its conversion to a museum began.

In 1988 the Yorkshire Mining Museum opened at Caphouse.

It was established with funding from West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire Metropolitan County Councils, Wakefield and Kirklees Metropolitan District Councils and technical support and assistance from British Coal.

The Museum was granted national status in 1995. Following this the Department for Culture, Media and Sport carried out a detailed study into the Museum, and in 1998 provided funding which secured its long-term future. In 2001 the Museum received a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant of just over £4.5 million. The Museum raised just under £2 million to complement this grant. Work carried out using this money included restoring buildings, new gallery areas and the store for large machinery. In 2002 admission to the Museum became free.

More recently, the Museum was awarded a further grant of just under £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which together with funding from Coal Authority and £1 million from the EU LIFE Environment Programme, has enabled the conservation and interpretation of the buildings at Hope Pit, and the installation of a state-of-the-art environmentally sound water treatment scheme. The Hope Pit scheme was opened in May 2005 by Johnny Ball.

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