|Location:||Nenthead village, on the A689 8 km from Alston|
Easter to OCT daily 11-17.
Last entry to the mine 15:30.
NOV to Easter prebooked groups only.
Adults GBP 4, Children free, Seniors (60+) GBP 3.25, Family (2+2) GBP 8.
Tour with mine: Adults GBP 7, Children GBP 3, Seniors (60+) GBP 6, Family (2+2) GBP 16.50.
Groups: 10% discount.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||D=60 min, L=1,200 m, 800 m surface + 400 m mine.|
|Address:||Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre, Nenthead, Alston, Cumbria CA9 3PD, Tel: +44-1434-382726, Tel: +44-1434-382037, Fax: +44-1434-382043. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1825||Nenthead built as industrial village for the miners of the lead mines.|
|1994||Nenthead mines finally closed.|
|15-JUL-1996||opened to the public.|
|02-JAN-2001||clearing the mine work started.|
|23-JUL-2000||mine opened to the public.|
The small village of Nenthead is England's highest village at 450 meters and was not built until 1825 when it was one of the earliest purpose built industrial villages in Britain housing 1500 souls, mostly Methodist in the employ of the Quaker London Lead Company. The benevolent Quakers built, amongst other things, housing, a school, a reading room, public baths and a wash house for the miners and their families, laying the foundation for today's welfare state. These hardy people lived their lives, mining all week and working on their smallholdings each weekend, a way of life which has changed little in over 100 years.
Falling lead prices and cheap imports caused many families to emigrate to America and Australia in the late nineteen century and the mines were sold to the Belgian Vielle Montagne Company who mined for zinc until the early 1940's. Nenthead mines finally closed in 1994.
The Nenthead Mines Visitor Centre was officially opened on 15 July, 1996 by John Craven, presenter of the BBC "Countryfile" program. Also in attendance was Sir Kingsley Dunham, famous for a lifetime's work on the geology and mineralisation of the Northern Pennines Orefield. Entertainment was provided by local school children dressed in period costume, and the Reeth Brass Band.
The museum is laid out amongst mine building. The site contains a small section with displays describing mineralisation, mining techniques etc. One section even covers the role of the mine agent. The site also contains six workshops units which are housed in the old Rampgill Mine woodstore, a cafe open 10.30-17.00, serves hot and colds meals and includes a gift shop. Work is continuing on site to restore other mine buildings and structures. There is ample free parking.
Text by Tony Oldham (2001). With kind permission.