Scottish Mining Museum Trust

Lady Victoria Colliery - Scotland's Black Diamonds

Useful Information

Location: In Newtowngrange 10 miles south-east of Edinburgh on the A7 trunk road.
Open: MAR to OCT daily 10-17.
Magic Helmet Tour all day, last tour 15:30.
Big Stuff Tours Wed, Sun 11, 12:30 14.
NOV to FEB daily 10-16.
Fee: Adults GBP 6.50, Children GBP 4.50, Concession GBP 4.50, Family (2+4) GBP 19.95.
Groups: Adults GBP 5.50, Children GBP 3.50, Concession GBP 3.50.
Classification: MineCoal Mine, museum with extensive archive and photographic collection.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Bibliography: Leaflets, publications and information packs.
Address: Scottish Mining Museum Trust, Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtowngrange, Midlothian EH22 4QN, Tel: +44-131-663-7519, Fax: +44-131-654-1618
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1890's Lady Victoria Colliery opened.
1981 colliery closed.
1984 Scottish Mining Museum opened to the public.
1999 renovation and redevelopment completed.



Lady Victoria Colliery was the showpiece of the Scottish Coalfields from its opening in the 1890's.

An audio-visual presentation "Talking Tableaux" describes a day in the life of a miner in the pit village and underground guided tours take the visitor round the Grant Richie steam winding engine and the pithead. Other exhibits describe the hard working conditions the miner endured, mining skills and the Scottish Coalfields. The hands-on models for children "Operation Move It!" are also gaining a reputation for their originality, The tour of the site also includes a surface "mock-up" of a modern coal face. Steps, however, make parts of the tour difficult for wheelchair users. The site also includes a gift shop ad tea room. Some picnic facilities are available. Parking is free.

Text by Tony Oldham (2001). With kind permission.

Lady Victoria Colliery is a fine example of a Victorian coal mine. As steam engines powered by coal were the motor of the early industrial revolution, during the Victorian age, this mine is actually a symbol of the origins of our modern technical civilization. The Scottish Mining Museum is located at this colliery, only 15 kilometers from Edinburgh. The museum includes a three-story visitors centre, with two exhibitions, The Story of Coal dedicated to the history and technology of coal mining and A Race Apart, tellling about the mining communities. They are modern exhibitions with interactive displays, reconstructions, sound and visuals.

The abandoned mine is present at the museum in various ways. On the surface is the pithead, where the miners entered the colliery for decades. It contains the largest winding engine in Scotland, which was in operation some 90 years and is still operational. It was used to move miners, coal, and material in and out of the mine. The mining took place about 500 m below, a level which is not accessible any more. But there is a re-created underground roadway and coalface, which offers the experience and atmosphere of a working pit. On the surface is an exhibition of massive mining machinery with a tour called Big Stuff on Wednesdays and Sundays only.

The museum has a rather strange but somewhat comfortable electronic guiding system. So-called magic helmets are fitted with remote-controlled headphones. They describe and explain what you see while you are strolling around the premises. The tours are self guided tours including the underground section.