Galena, lead ore, has been mined in the Peak District National Park for thousands of years, and many families in the area earned a basic living from this mineral. Discover more about the industry and how it shaped the Peak District landscape at the Peak District Lead Mining Museum. It is located within the Grand Pavilion, the eye-catching pink building at the top of the main street in Matlock Bath.
The Museum houses thousands of items from the historic lead mining industry, including hundreds of rock and mineral specimens from around the world. Interactive exhibits and climbing tunnels provide fun for the young and the young at heart.
There is a cafe and gift shop at the Museum.
The Peak District Lead Mining Museum: What to See
The Wills Founder Water Pressure Engine
This massive pumping engine is the centre-piece of the Museum. Dating from 1819, it is an impressive feat of engineering, resourcefully using the pressure created by falling water to pump water from deep underground.
Climbing and crawling tunnels
Experience life as a miner in a gentle way, with three mock mining tunnels. They’re a favourite with visitors of of all ages!
The Howie Mineral Collection
Professor Howie donated over 3,000 mineral specimens from around the world to the Museum, and a large selection of these are on display.
Peak District Lead Mining Museum: Temple Mine
Temple Mine is a working 1920s lead and fluorspar mine, located just across the road from the Museum. A guide will take you on a 1 hour tour around the mine, providing an authentic insight into life underground.
Within Temple Mine you’ll see historic mine workings, tools and equipment used by miners, a rare 1936 locomotive, as well as a variety of rocks and minerals.
Please note that there are some low ceilings and uneven floors. The mine can be wet, muddy and slippy underfoot. Hard-hats are provided and sensible footwear is recommended.
Panning for ‘gold’
After the mine tour you will have the opportunity to try your hand at ‘gold panning’. Using a traditional-style pan in water, you can find fool’s gold, galena and a variety of crystals which you can take home with you (but not any real gold!).