National Coal Mining Museum for England

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National Coal Mining Museum for England
The National Coal Mining Museum for England is based at the site of Caphouse Colliery in Overton, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum and was granted national status in 1995.

Caphouse Colliery was sunk in the 1770s or 1780s and the Hope Pit in the early 1800s. Sir John Lister Lister Kaye of Denby Grange leased the mineral rights in 1827 and his pits became the Denby Grange Colliery. The boiler house and stone and brick chimney at the museum are Grade II listed structures built around 1876 for Emma Lister Kaye along with the steam winding engine house, boiler yard, heapstead and ventilation shaft which are Grade II* listed. The boiler house has two Lancashire boilers and powered the winding engine. The timber headgear at Caphouse and the wood framed screens building at Hope Pit date from between 1905 and 1911. Pithead baths and an administration block were built between 1937 and 1938. The colliery was nationalised in 1947 and a drift mine opened in 1974. The colliery closed in 1985. The Yorkshire Mining Museum opened in 1988 and the museum became the National Coal Mining Museum in 1995.

The museum offers free guided underground tours where visitors can experience the conditions miners worked in and see the tools and machines they used as the industry and the mine developed through the years. Above ground there is a visitor centre which houses exhibitions on the social and industrial history of the mines. The extensive library and archive contains issues of "Coal News" and details of collieries throughout England. Other features include the pit head baths, steam winding house, boiler house and coal screening plant. It is possible to see former working pit ponies, ride the paddy train, follow the nature trail. The museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

The museum is situated on the A642, in Overton near Middlestown between Wakefield and Huddersfield. It is signposted from the M1 motorway. There is free car and coach parking. It is accessible by public transport, local bus services run within walking distance. From Wakefield or Huddersfield, the Huddersfield Bus Company (ex Yorkshire Traction/Stagecoach) 232 bus stops at the Reindeer pub with a short walk to the museum. The 128 service from Wakefield to Dewsbury passes the Museum. The NCM has occasionally featured in television programmes. In June 2005, Most Haunted Live! visited the location on Summer Solstice.