Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum

(See also Threlkeld)

Threlkeld quarry and mining museum by Martin BrewsterThe Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, located in a disused micro-granite quarry, is a geological and mining museum that also offers a 45 minute underground tour of a realistic mine experience. It tells the history of lead and zinc mining at Gategill Mine on Blencathra.

The quarry was originally opened in the 1870s to provide stone ballast for the railway. It then provided stone for the Manchester waterworks Thirlmere construction and for roads.

Threlkeld quarry and mining museum Sir Tom by Martin BrewsterBetween 1880-1900, 10,000 tons of galena and 13,400 tons of zinc were mined. Up to 100 men were employed, some walking from Keswick. In the early 1900’s miners’ cottages were built into the terraced hillsides. The quarry was closed in 1937, but re-opened in 1949, and quarrying for granite continued until 1982.

On site is a collection of mine machinery that includes a collection of vintage excavators. Visitors can pan for minerals. A re-laid two foot gauge mineral railway provides rides for visitors into the inner quarry.

Many original buildings and equipment still survive. There are vintage excavators, an engine house, and narrow gauge locomotives at the site. Samples of various minerals, including quartz, are still found along the mountain paths.

Threlkeld quarry and mining museum by Rose and Trev CloughIn the Mining Room are artefacts, plans, and photographs related to local mines. There is also a display of local minerals and a section on lighting, drilling, and explosives. The Quarry Room contains photographs and rock samples explaining the features of some of the local quarries. It also details the relationship between Lake District geology and the quarrying of local limestone, sandstone, granite, and slate. Samples of rocks from local formations are keyed to a large table map. Pieces of various minerals, including quartz, are still found along the mountain paths.

Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum
From the A66, follow the road signs to Threlkeld Quarry taking the B5322 St John’s in the Vale turn off. Continue to follow the quarry signs.
Tel. 01768 779747, evening 01228 561883
Open: daily and BH from Easter-end Oct half term, 10am-5pm
Shop, free parking, drinks
Mine heritage guided walks in season
Web: The Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum

Note: Please check opening times and dates before visiting in case of changes.

Photos courtesy of Martin Brewster , Rose and Trev Clough.

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