NATIONAL MINING MUSEUM SCOTLAND
From its inception in 1984, The National Mining Museum Scotland has been enjoyed by generations of families and visitors through its accurate presentation of the Scottish Coal Industry and its heritage from the Victorian period up until the early 1980s. Aptly situated in the former Lady Victoria Colliery in the village of Newtongrange, 9 miles to the south of Central Edinburgh, this captivating visitor attraction is the national registered museum of its kind and is open to visitors all year round.
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Closed in 1981, The Lady Victoria Colliery that houses the museum is one of the few remaining 19th Century collieries still intact in Europe and was the backbone of the Midlothian economy and workforce for almost a century. Although not in use today, the colliery previously underwent extensive refurblishment and preservation in 1999, following a £5 million investment programme to transform this ever-popular museum into a leading world-class visitor attraction of the 21st Century.
As a fully accessible visitor attraction, The National Mining Museum Scotland incorporates a three-story visitor centre which features two of the museum's most significant exhibitions, namely 'The Story of Coal' and 'A Race Part', both uncovering the variations of coal and its discovery as natural resource through engaging audio-visual presentations and tactile displays. The two exhibitions also highlight the strong social fabric and community spirit inherent within mining communities through a collection of anecdotes, photographs and stories donated by former miners and their families.
Visitors can relive the coal mining experience at the Operations Centre, providing a hands-on approach for schoolchildren to engage in scientific experiments and a host of thought-provoking exercises relating to the technologies behind the running of the colliery. The highlight of the visitor expereince is descending the 500 metre mine shaft known as the 'pithead' into the dark subterranean labyrinth of the Lady Victoria where the coalface and underground railway remain to capture the ambience and give visitors a flavour of what life was like in the hidden depths of one of Scotland's largest collieries.
Home to the largest winding engine in Scotland, The National Mining Museum Scotland has preserved this machine for use today to transport visitors back up from the pit, formerly carrying thousands of workers each day and over a staggering 40 million tons of coal over its 90 year lifetime. Why not experience the 'Magic Helmet' Tour as a full audio tour guide of the museum or for an indepth insight, guided tours are available, courtesy of former miners of the Lady Vic who live to tell the tale of this magnificent colliery in its heyday.
Located in 9 miles to the south of Edinburgh, The National Mining Museum Scotland is accessible by regular Lothian Bus Service 3 from the city centre taking approximately 40 minutes to Newtongrange. Visitors are welcomed to gift shop and on-site restaurant purveying souvenirs, hot and cold drinks and an excellent menu of cold salads, sandwiches, soups and hot meals. Why not visit this remarkable museum that gives an illustrative insight into Scotland's mining heritage.