National Coal Mining Museum for England

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is based at the site of Caphouse Colliery in Overton, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum and was granted national status in 1995.

National Coal Mining Museum for England
National Coal Mining Museum
LocationOverton in West Yorkshire, England
Coordinates53°38′36″N 1°37′16″W / 53.6433°N 1.6211°WCoordinates: 53°38′36″N 1°37′16″W / 53.6433°N 1.6211°W
TypeHeritage centre
WebsiteNational Coal Mining Museum


Caphouse Colliery was sunk in the 1770s or 1780s and the Hope Pit in the 1820s. Sir John Lister Kaye of Denby Grange took over James Milnes' leases the mineral rights in 1827 and his pits became the Denby Grange Colliery. The boiler house and stone and brick chimney at the museum are Grade II listed structures[1] built around 1876 for Emma Lister Kaye along with the steam winding engine house, boiler yard, heapstead and ventilation shaft which are Grade II* listed.[2] The boiler house has two Lancashire boilers and powered the winding engine. The timber headgear at Caphouse and the wood framed screens building at Hope Pit date from between 1905 and 1911. Pithead baths and an administration block were built between 1937 and 1938.[3]

Lockwood and Elliott who owned Shuttle Eye Colliery had acquired the colliery by 1942.[4] The colliery was nationalised in 1947 and a drift mine opened in 1974. The colliery closed in 1985.[3]

The Yorkshire Mining Museum opened in 1988 and the museum became the National Coal Mining Museum in 1995.[3]


Caphouse Headstock

The museum offers guided underground tours where visitors can experience the conditions miners worked in and see the tools and machines they used as the industry and the mine developed through the years. Above ground there is a visitor centre which houses exhibitions on the social and industrial history of the mines. The extensive library and archive contains issues of "Coal News" and details of collieries throughout England. Other features include the pit head baths, steam winding house, boiler house and coal screening plant. It is possible to ride the paddy train and follow the nature trail near to Hope Pit and water filtration tanks.

From 1994 the museum housed two pit ponies that had previously worked in Ellington Pit known as Carl and Sparky.[5] They died 2006 and 2007 respectively.[5]

The museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage.[6]

The museum held the exhibition 'My Mining Days' for mining artist Tom Lamb in 2008-2009. [7]


The museum is situated on the A642, in Overton near Middlestown between Wakefield and Huddersfield. It is signposted from the M1 motorway. It can be reached by car or public transport.[8]

The museum has occasionally featured in television programmes. In June 2005 Most Haunted Live! visited the location on Summer Solstice.

See also



  1. ^ Historic England, "Chimney and attached boiler house at Caphouse Colliery (1135481)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 31 December 2014
  2. ^ Historic England, "Winding house, heapstead and headstock at Caphouse Colliery (1135482)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 31 December 2014
  3. ^ a b c Historic England, "Caphouse Colliery (765996)", PastScape, retrieved 31 December 2014
  4. ^ Taylor (2001), p. 62
  5. ^ a b Butcher, Joanne (21 July 2011). "Last Northumberland pit pony passes away". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  6. ^ National Coal Mining Museum for England, European Route of Industrial Heritage, retrieved 31 December 2014
  7. ^ accessed 17 February 2017
  8. ^ "Map and Directions". National Coal Mining Museum for England. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009.


  • Taylor, Warwick (2001), South Yorkshire Pits, Wharncliffe Books, ISBN 1-871647-84-3

External links

Blackett's Aerophor

Distinguish from aerophor (or aerophore) (a device to assist musicians playing wind instruments)[1][2], and from aerophone.

The Blackett's Aerophor is a nitrox semi-closed-circuit rebreather with liquid gas storage made in England from 1910 onwards for use in mine rescue and other industrial uses. It was used until the 1950s. "Aerophor" is from Greek αεροφορος = "air-carrier".

Its breathing bag was on the chest, of rubber, in a strong leather case. The other parts were in a backpack. It had two corrugated breathing tubes coming out of the backpack. Its duration on a fill was 2 hours. It had:

A heat-insulated tank containing 5½ pounds of liquid nitrox containing at least 50% of oxygen, which had to be filled immediately before use.

At the bottom of the backpack, a large canister filled with 2 pounds of what one description called "potash" and another description "soda".Colonel Wiliam Cuthbert Blackett introduced this Aerophor in the Durham area in 1910, and it was later improved by Messrs G.L.Brown and F.P.Mills. All or some of them were made by Guest and Chrimes Ltd. of Rotherham.

Blackleg Miner

"Blackleg Miner" is a 19th-century English folk song, originally from Northumberland (as can be deduced from the dialect in the song and the references in it to the villages of Seghill and Seaton Delaval). Its Roud number is 3193. The song is one of the most controversial English folk songs owing to its depiction of violence against strikebreakers.

Caphouse Colliery

Caphouse Colliery, originally known as Overton Colliery, was a coal mine in Overton, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It was situated on the Denby Grange estate owned by the Lister Kaye family, and was worked from the 18th century until 1985. It reopened as the Yorkshire Mining Museum in 1988, and is now the National Coal Mining Museum for England.

Colour Experience

The Colour Experience (formerly known as The Colour Museum) is a visitor attraction and museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.The museum covers the science of light and colour. It is run by the Society of Dyers and Colourists as an educational charity.

Educational workshops are provided for school groups.

Confederation of UK Coal Producers

The Confederation of UK Coal Producers (or CoalPro) is the UK trade association for coal mining companies. Full members include Banks Developments, Celtic Energy, Kier Mining, Miller Argent, Hall Construction, Hargreaves Services, and Land Engineering Services.

David John Douglass

David John Douglass, sometimes known as Dave or "danny the red", is a political activist in Tyneside and Yorkshire . He is a member of the IWW, the NUM and Class War, and was formerly in the Revolutionary Workers' Party (Trotskyist) and the Socialist Union (Internationalist), of which he was a leading member. He is a regular contributor to the Weekly Worker, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee). He has also written Pit Talk in County Durham (1973), a book about the dialect Pitmatic.

He holds an MA in Industrial Relations and Law.He worked as a coalminer in the coalfields of Durham and South Yorkshire, and was NUM Branch Delegate for Hatfield Colliery from 1979. He appears in the documentary The Miner's Campaign Tapes to discuss the role of the popular media in the strike of 1984-85. In 1994-95 he was Branch Secretary at Hatfield Main, but after the pit was privatised the NUM no longer had any recognition there.From 1994 to 2006 he helped to run the Miners Community Advice Centre in Stainforth.He worked at the National Coal Mining Museum for England as a researcher on the exhibition Strike, Not the End of It, and subsequently published a book with the same title on the history of industrial disputes in British mining.The three volumes of his autobiography were published between 2008 and 2010.

Eureka! (museum)

Eureka! The National Children's Museum is an interactive educational museum for children in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, with a focus on learning through play. It is run as an educational charity and not-for-profit organisation. Eureka! is based on the North American model of children's museums, aimed at families with children aged 0–11 and encourages hands-on inter-generational learning.

John Bulmer

John Bulmer (born 1938) is a photographer, notable for his early use of colour in photojournalism, and a filmmaker.

List of collieries in Yorkshire (1984–2015)

In 1984, the Yorkshire area had a total of 56 collieries. The last deep coal mine was Kellingley Colliery which closed on Friday 18 December 2015 signalling the end of deep coal mining not only in Yorkshire but in Britain as a whole. Hatfield Colliery closed in mid 2015.

In 1984, 15 of the collieries were in the Wakefield district, 11 in the Rotherham district, 10 in the Barnsley district, 9 in the Doncaster district, 6 in the Selby district, 3 in the Leeds district and 2 in the Kirklees district. The Yorkshire Area of the Coal Board also included Manton and Shireoaks collieries, which were geographically in Nottinghamshire; they closed in 1994 and 1990 respectively.

Marjorie Arnfield

Marjorie Helen Arnfield, (25 November 1930 – 26 April 2001) was an English artist who specialised in both industrial and rural landscapes, painting in oil, acrylic and watercolour. Her landscapes, particularly her paintings of Provence and Spain, are characterized by vivid colours and an impressionistic style. In an interview in the magazine Artists & Illustrators in 1998, Arnfield described her palette of colours, which included ochres, burnt siennas, cadmium, viridian, reds and blues, as "colours that sing".


Middlestown is a small village in between Wakefield and Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. The village is in the civil parish of Sitlington.

The villages of Middlestown, Netherton, Overton and Midgley are built around and overlook the Coxley Valley.

There are two Nature Reserves, managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, within the boundaries, and the area is also home to the National Coal Mining Museum for England.

Both the M1 and M62 are a few minutes drive away. The A642 road passes through Middlestown

National Mining Museum

National Mining Museum may refer to museums in a variety of countries, including:

Big Pit National Coal Museum (Originally the National Mining Museum of Wales)

National Coal Mining Museum for England

National Mining Museum Scotland

National Mining Museum, Luxembourg

National Mining Museum, Zimbabwe

Netherton, Wakefield

Netherton is a village in the City of Wakefield metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. It lies about 4 miles south-west of Wakefield, 3 miles south of Ossett, 1 mile south of Horbury. The village is in the Wakefield Rural ward of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. The village name "Nether Shitlington" was changed to Netherton sometime after 1855. The h was dropped from Shitlington and Sitlington was adopted in 1929 with the approval of the county council.

Pontefract Museum

Pontefract Museum is a local museum in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. The collections cover archaeology, archives, decorative and applied art, fine art, photographs and social history.

Rugby League Heritage Centre

The Rugby League Heritage Centre was formerly located in the basement of the George Hotel, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. It was the only rugby league heritage museum and was the brainchild of Sky Sports presenter and former Great Britain international Mike Stephenson.

Shibden Hall

Shibden Hall is a Grade II* listed historic house located in a public park at Shibden, West Yorkshire, England. The building has been extensively modified from its original design by generations of residents, although its Tudor half-timbered frontage remains its most recognisable feature.

One of its most notable residents was Anne Lister who inherited the hall from a relative. Lister has been described as being the first modern lesbian due to her ‘love of the fairer sex’ that she documented in her diaries.

Three-Day Week

The Three-Day Week was one of several measures introduced in the United Kingdom by the Conservative government to conserve electricity, the generation of which was severely restricted owing to industrial action by coal miners. The effect was that from 1 January until 7 March 1974 (also the same month the 1973-74 oil crisis ended) commercial users of electricity were limited to three specified consecutive days' consumption each week and prohibited from working longer hours on those days. Services deemed essential (e.g. hospitals, supermarkets and newspaper printing presses) were exempt. Television companies were required to cease broadcasting at 10.30 pm during the crisis to conserve electricity, although the restrictions were dropped after a general election was called.


Transperience was a short-lived museum of passenger transport located at Low Moor, in the south of Bradford in West Yorkshire, Northern England. It opened in July 1995, but closed only 2 years later in October 1997, with debts of over £1 million.

Valerie Ganz

Valerie Ganz (1936 – 2015) was a Welsh artist, known for her paintings of South Wales coal miners.

City of Bradford museums
Calderdale museums
Kirklees museums
City of Leeds museums
City of Wakefield museums

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