1900s Colliery

No recreation of the history of North East England would be complete without a colliery and the people who worked there

Beamish Unlimited

Generations of families worked down the North East’s pits – it was the industry on which the region’s prosperity was built. In 1913, the year of peak production, 165,246 men and boys worked in Durham’s 304 mines.

Mahogany Drift Mine 

Take a trip down our drift mine and experience the reality of life underground for miners. Entry to the mine is by guided tour only, running regularly throughout the day. Last tour is 30 minutes before museum closing time.

Lamp Cabin

Discover the history of miners’ safety lamps in this recreation of a typical colliery lamp cabin.

Winding Engine House

See the 1855-built steam winding engine in action – the sole survivor of a type once common in the Northern Coalfield.


Visit the wooden heapstead building, next to the winding engine house, where men, ponies and tubs were lowered into the mine and coal was brought up to be weighed and screened.

Colliery Railway

Get an insight into the railway network used by colliery owners. The Colliery Railway, which has standard and narrow gauge lines, hosts occasional demonstration shunting operations by Coffee Pot No.1, Lewin and Edward Sholto. The Engine Shed houses the Museum’s colliery locomotives.