Woodhorn Museum brings to life Northumberland’s proud mining heritage and is set on the site of what was once the largest pit village in the world. Woodhorn however is more than just a traditional mining museum, the exhibitions, the collections, tours, talks and facilities together with a packed programme of events ensure a great day out.
Many of the colliery buildings still remain and are open for you to explore and each of these buildings tell their own fascinating story. Stand above the staggering Heapstead, find out what steam power did in The Jack Engine House, sniff out the Stable Block, see the only remaining Cappell Fan in existence in the Cappell House and Motor Room and discover the vital role of the winderman in The Winding House.
There are many exhibitions and collections of interest on offer at Woodhorn Museum. Coal Town is one of the permanent exhibitions and this interactive and thoroughly moving exhibition takes you on a journey where you’ll discover the true story of coal mining in Northumberland and of a way of life that has disappeared forever.
Take in the unique art collection by the amateur yet famous art group The Ashington Group, also known as the ‘Pitmen Painters’. They began as an art appreciation group in the 1930’s and then went on to meet weekly over the next 50 years and produced hundreds of paintings depicting what life was like for the men and women who lived and worked in the mining communities in Northumberland.
You can enjoy the museum at your own pace or if you prefer there are tours and talks that take place daily to help you explore the various parts of the museum. Please check the website or ask staff about times and how to join these tours and talks.
At Woodhorn Museum the much loved heritage blends seamlessly with more modern development and The Cutter Building which is home to exhibitions and collections includes a wall which features a moving sculpture of 98 birds made from moulded miners’ gloves with each one sadly representing the lives lost at the colliery throughout it’s history. Woodhorn Museum is informative, interactive, cultural, hands on and at times really quite thought provoking but more than anything it’s a really enjoyable day out.
If history, heritage and culture is what you enjoy then look no further and book your stay at St Oswald’s Farm and discover all that Northumberland has to offer.