Experience a miner’s life

Take a guided tour down the mine shaft and experience the dark, cramped and damp conditions in which miners used to work.

Above ground, visit the miner’s row and see how miners and their families lived, from the basic conditions of the 1840s to the comforts of the 1980s.

Miners’ rows, built close to the mine, were quickly assembled and cheap to rent. The cottages at Summerlee have been designed to give visitors an impression of how these homes may have looked at different points in time. Walk through the row to witness how the standard of living improved from an earthen floor and open hearth in the 1840s to gas lighting in the 1910s, electricity and indoor plumbing around the 1940s, and modern appliances and technology from the post-war era onwards.

Immerse yourself in audio interpretation in the wash house, which would have been introduced to miners’ row around the 1880s. The wash house served all the families in the row, with each family being allocated a day each week to use it. You can also wander round the garden, which includes a wartime Anderson shelter. And don’t forget to sneak a peek at the outdoor toilets round the back of the row…

Finally, stop off at our traditional sweetie shop for a bar of tablet or a poke of soor plooms!