MuseumSights and activitiesNational Coal Mining Museum for England

Free

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is based on the site of a former coal mine in Overton, between Wakefield and Huddersfield. It is an interesting museum that showcases an integral part of Yorkshire’s industrial heritage.

Coal has been mined at the Caphouse Colliery, originally called the Overton Colliery, since 1793 and the mine operated until 1985 when the coal reserves were exhausted. A few years later, in 1988, it reopened as the Yorkshire Mining Museum, which later became known as the National Coal Mining Museum for England.

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is located at the former Caphouse Colliery, which is around 10km (6 miles) southwest of Wakefield. (Photo: J3Mrs [CC BY-SA 3.0])
The National Coal Mining Museum for England is located at the former Caphouse Colliery, which is around 10km (6 miles) southwest of Wakefield. (Photo: J3Mrs [CC BY-SA 3.0])

What to see at the National Coal Mining Museum for England

Visitors to the museum can take a guided underground tour that shows you what the working conditions would have been like in the mines. These tours also let you see how mining techniques have changed over the years and most of these tours are guided by former miners, which gives you a much deeper understanding of what it would have been like to work in the mines.

Underground tours are currently suspended due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

The museum’s above-ground displays have a number of different galleries that depict the social industrial history of the mines and the museum also has open-air displays of industrial equipment.

The galleries include the Technology Gallery, which has displays about the technology that was used when working underground, and the Victorian Gallery, which tells the story of coal mining during the Victorian era.

Visiting the National Coal Mining Museum for England

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is located in Overton, which is around 10km (6 miles) southwest of Wakefield’s city centre. The location is best suited if you’re driving, although you can also get here by public transport with buses from Huddersfield and Wakefield stopping nearby.

Like other national museums, admission to the National Coal Mining Museum for England is free of charge. There is currently a £2.10 booking fee if you pre-book your visit (which is necessary during coronavirus-related restrictions); however, you can include up to five people in one booking.

Visitor facilities include an on-site cafe plus a gift shop.

Amenities
  • Parking (paid)
  • Wheelchair access
  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Gift shop

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