This remarkable museum offers a glimpse into the bygone era of coal mining.

The Coal Mining Museum is a captivating destination where history enthusiasts can embark on a fascinating journey through time. Immerse yourself in the rich industrial heritage as you explore the restored winding engine house and colliery buildings. 

Step inside the winding engine house and be transported back to a time when this impressive structure powered the underground workings of Pleasley Pit. Marvel at the enormous machinery and discover how it operated to raise and lower miners, equipment, and coal. Our knowledgeable guides will share captivating stories, giving you a deeper understanding of the daily lives and experiences of the miners who relied on this very engine to carry out their work.

As you venture through the colliery buildings, explore the various exhibits that offer an immersive experience of the coal mining industry. Discover the tools and equipment used by miners, and gain insight into the mining techniques employed during different periods. Touch genuine artifacts and examine photographs that provide a visual narrative of the colliery's history. The museum offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the hard work, dedication, and ingenuity of the miners who faced the challenges of extracting coal from the depths of the earth.

Pleasley Pit's legacy extends beyond the physical structures. It also encompasses the profound impact it had on the community. Explore the social history of the area and uncover the stories of the miners and their families. Learn about the tight-knit mining communities that thrived around the colliery and the lasting bonds forged through shared experiences and challenges. Gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience and spirit that characterised these communities and discover how Pleasley Pit shaped the lives of generations.

Museum open times

Wednesday & Thursday 10am - 1pm

Sunday 10am - 1.30pm 

North Winding Engine
North Winding Engine
Entrance to North Winding Engine

The North Winding Engine is a powerful machine that has been in operation since 1904. It was made by Lilleshall of Oakengates in Shropshire. Before this engine, there was another one made by the Worsley Mesnes Company of Wigan, but it broke and needed to be replaced. The new engine has two 40-inch cylinders and pistons, which can generate 1500 working horse power. It used steam produced by Lancashire Steam Boilers located outside the Engine House.

Each cylinder has four valves: two for letting steam in and out during the forward stroke, and two for the reverse stroke. In 1966, the Markham Company of Chesterfield installed a braking system, which was the first of its kind. It was so successful that it became widely used in the coal industry.

Before this braking system was installed, different designs were used, including simple Calliper brakes operated by the winder's foot and steam-assisted brakes. The current braking system consists of a spring nest that applies pressure to the brakes and a hydraulic piston that lifts them off.

The winder, who controls the speed and direction of the engine, sits in a green chair and operates levers. However, the winder doesn't start the engine until receiving an audible and visual signal from the people in charge of the shafts. The person in charge of the lift at the top of the 520-yard shaft is called the Banksman, while the person in charge at the Pit Bottom is called the Onsetter. They communicate with the Winding Engine operator using audible and visual signals.

South Winding Engine
South Winding Engine

The South Winding Engine you see has completed renovation. It was originally installed in 1922 and was manufactured by The Markham Company of Chesterfield. Back in the 1920s, there was a decision to dig the South Shaft deeper, from 520 yards to 800 yards, in order to access new coal deposits.

The previous Winding Engine, made by Reader & Co., wasn't powerful enough for the deeper shaft. So, this new engine was specially commissioned. The Markham Engine is quite impressive, with a power of 3000 horsepower and a cylinder diameter of 36 inches. Its stroke measures 7 feet, and the drum has a diameter of 21 feet. Due to the installation of this engine, the Engine House had to be enlarged to its current size.

The renovation work was being carried out by The "Pleasley Pit Trust." In 2013, the Pistons of the engine were sent to Markham Engineering, the same company that originally made the engine back in 1922, to have them machined. This process incurred a significant cost.

Control Room
Shaft Conntrol Room

South Shaft Pit Top

Although the shaft as long been filed in, you can still see the South Shaft Pit top as it was with tubs and the cage in place plus railway tracks and mining artifacts. 

The shaft control room where the banksman sat is still there and it will give you a taste of the pit top atmosphere.

Our volunteers open the indoor above ground museum every week on 

Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm

Your visit to the Pleasley Pit Trust Museum directly contributes to the ongoing preservation and maintenance of this remarkable heritage site. By supporting our efforts, you help ensure that the stories of Pleasley Pit and its miners remain accessible to future generations.