Woodhorn Colliery

Queen Elizabeth II Country Park - Woodhorn Museum and Archives Centre

Useful Information

Location: On the A189 coast road, 9 km north of Newcastle upon Tyne and 8 km east of Morpeth.
Open: APR to SEP Wed-Sun, Bank Holiday Mondays 10-17.
OCT to MAR Wed-Sun, Bank Holiday Mondays 10-16.
School Holidays daily.
Fee: Free.
Parking GBP 3.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Bibliography: Mike Kirkup (): Blood on the Coal : A History of Woodhorn Colliery, ISBN 0952342278, available from Museum Shop Priced GBP 2.50
Hazel Edwards (): Follow the Banner : An Illustrated Catalogue of the Northumberland Miners' Banners, ISBN 1-85754-289-4, available from Museum Shop Priced GBP 5.95
Mike Kirkup (): Ashington Coal Company : The Five Collieries, ISBN 1 -902527-62-3, available from Museum Shop Priced GBP 9.99
Address: Woodhorn Colliery Museum, QEII Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9YF, Tel: +44-1670-856-968, Fax: +44-1670-810-958. E-mail: contact
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.


16-MAY-1894 colliery opened with the sinking of No. 1 shaft of Woodhorn.
26-JUN-1897 sinking completed, No 1 shaft was 266 m deep.
FEB-1898 first coal drawn.
1903 first coal cutting machine installed.
13-AUG-1916 an explosion ripped through the pit killing 11 men instantly and 2 others died later in hospital.
1947 nationalisation.
1981 colliery closed.
1989 re-opened as a museum.
1993 QEII Country Park Railway Society initially set up.
2012 gold award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS).



The displays in the old colliery buildings give a unique insight into centuries of coal mining in Northumberland and what life was like for the miners and their families. The museum contains the winding engine and mine artefacts. In addition there is a hall in which miners' banners are exhibited. Displays of authentic traditions include mat-making - 'hooked-rugs' every Thursday and Sunday and paintings by local artists. The museum has a 70 seater cafeteria and a function room. The Queen Elizabeth II Country Park also includes a lake, small adventure playground and woodland, ideal for picnics and walks. The park is also the venue for miners' picnics, colliery brass bands, vintage car rallies and family fun days.

The museum has now received the highest possible rating for its approach to sustainable tourism by the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS). The visitor attraction has won a gold award, while the Hexham's Old Gaol Museum (which is also run by the Woodhorn Charitable Trust) has won a silver award.

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