On-site Resources and Activities

As well as the Underground Experience and workshops, there are galleries, exhibitions, original pit buildings and a Nature Trail to explore, which will keep your pupils engaged for the whole day.

We recommend that you allow 1 hour – 1 hour 30mins to explore our buildings and galleries. 

This easy-to-follow gallery trail leads pupils on an exploration of the Museum site. 

Download the Gallery Trail resource below:

Media desktop high res ks3 history trail sheet

Sketching Resource

If you are leading an art-focussed visit, you can download this self-guided resource, which has ideas for sketching and drawing around site. We have drawing boards you can borrow and you can book out one of our rooms to use as a base if needed.

Media desktop high res exploring urban and rural landscapes

Original pit buildings

Our historic Caphouse site dates back to the 1790s and many of the original pit buildings are open for you to explore.Sights, sounds and smells combine to give each original pit building its own unique atmosphere.

Steam Winding Engine

See our steam winding engine, dating back to 1876

Pit Head Baths

Visit the pithead baths where a miner’s shift started and finished

Pit Ponies

See the ponies in the stables.

Galleries and exhibitions

Our galleries and exhibition spaces show the history of coal mining and get to the heart of mining communities, homes and families.

Mining Lives Gallery

Displays and handling drawers about home and community; sports and leisure; disaster and strikes. Look out for the Art Cart stocked with drawing materials.

1842 Gallery 

Find out about working conditions and lives of women and children who worked underground in the early 19th Century.

Coal Interface Gallery 

Get up close to the Museum’s technology collection and find out how mining inventions through time have made miners’ working lives safer and more efficient.

Special exhibitions 

Our changing special exhibitions programme means there is always something new to discover.  Please click here for the current Special Exhibition.

Nature Trail

Follow the half-mile Nature Trail and see how an old colliery spoilt tip now creates a lush habitat for wildlife, plants and trees. 

Reed Beds

Amaze your pupils with a trip to the reed beds to see how the Museum cleans the bright orange iron-rich mine water pumped from underground. It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk the whole of the Trail.

Hope Pit

How did miners breathe underground? How did they power their machines? Find the answers to these science questions with a visit to Hope Pit is a smaller colliery dating back to the 1830s. Hope Pit is approximately a 5-10 min walk from Reception.

Talks and Demonstrations

These informal talks are free but do need to be booked in advance. Please indicate on your booking form if you would like to book one.

Horsekeeper talk

Visit the stable yard and listen to our horsekeepers tell you about the working lives of pit ponies.

  • Available daily at 11.30 and 13.30
  • Duration: 15 minutes

Steam winder demonstration

See an original Victorian steam winding engine in action at the Steam Winding Engine House

  • Available daily
  • Duration: 10 minutes

Contact the team

If you have any questions about planning your visit you can get in touch with the learning team by email: education@ncm.org.uk or telephone 01924 848806

 

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