Big Pit: National Coal Museum

A group of children at the Big Pit
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Big Pit is a real colliery. It was the place of work for hundreds of men, women and children for over 200 years - a daily struggle to extract that precious mineral that stoked the furnaces and lit the household fires of the world. Kitted out in helmet, cap-lamp and battery pack, you descend 90 metres to another world; a world of shafts, coal faces and levels, of underground roadways, air doors and stables. Your pit lamp lights an inky darkness - darker than you can imagine. But you are never alone. Guided by an ex-miner, with easy good humour and first-hand knowledge, you get a real sense of life at the coal face. Returning to the surface, the colliery buildings, the winding engine-house, the blacksmiths workshop and pithead baths complete the picture of a working pit that at its height employed 1,300 men.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Daily 10.00-15.30
Please telephone for details of winter opening

Closed: Please telephone for details

Admission charges


Additional info

Tours take approximately 1 hour.
You will need warm clothing and sensible footwear.
Wheelchairs can go underground (please book).

Collection details

Archives, Industry, Science and Technology, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Mining
  • Coal mining
  • Industrial history
  • Pithead baths
  • Engineering
  • Mine shaft
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Drawing of a soldier with rifle over his shoulder

For Freedom and Empire

  • 17 April — 24 June 2018 *on now

When the news broke on 4 August 1914 that Britain had joined the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary, many thought it would all be over by Christmas. No-one could have imagined how long the war would last, and how far-reaching its influence would be. The war had an immediate impact on the slate industry.
This exhibition explores the responses within the slate quarrying communities to the First World War recruitment campaign preceding conscription.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Big Pit: National Coal Museum




(01495) 790 311


(01495) 792 618

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.