Lancashire Mining Museum

Halfway between Leigh and Worsley

Coal‐mine site with pithead tower and winding engine


image of lancashire-mining-museum

Get there

Public transport: Some buses go close, but any way is a long walk down busy roads. Private transport: Sorry, don’t recall, but there’s village parking. IMPORTANT: only open regularly in summertime. Running days for the engine, and special events, are publicised on Facebook.


As I weigh it, coal‐mines are as important as the development of the transistor. The Red Rose Steam Society has, without financial support but with devotion and scouring pads, preserved what they can. They’ve rebuilt a winding engine, which is huge—you can stand inside the engine between the twin pistons—and runs now on compressed air. They’ve restored the engine house, an beautiful building. They’ve dug out the rail tracks, and run locomotives. The winding tower stands, corroded and inaccessible, classed as ‘At Risk’ by English Heritage, and it’s spectacular. On site is small cafe, train wagons and engines lie in sheds and the grass. A cottage is decorated as the way‐we‐used‐to‐live—a coal fire crackles, a clock on the wall, Bible to the side. This museum is homemade—don’t expect history trails or audio commentary—but succeeds where enactments fail—will the wheel turn, needles shudder, miners stride from the buildings? There’s much to find, will easily fill an afternoon. Also, the site is spacious and—if you’re not into engines—on a sunny day a lovely place to be—the kids can play in the yard and grass and ride the train. Go, get it into your head, delve your pocket for coin.