Find out about life as a miner.
Step inside a miner’s kitchen, explore a mine agent’s drawing room and even visit a country show – all in our exhibition hall.
Created to give visitors an insight into the lives of Victorian lead miners and their families, the exhibition is part of the 2014 Rediscover Killhope project.
The project, which is being funded through a £428,000 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council.
The Rediscover Killhope project also includes the opening of our newly renovated Buddle House which provides an all-weather exhibition and activities space plus the installation of our new hands-on play equipment to help younger visitors understand more about Killhope’s heritage.
Anyone who has visited Killhope before will be amazed at the transformation of our exhibition hall, where everything is now presented with teasing facts, intriguing sounds and scrolling Victorian photographs. There’s lots to entertain and inform.
Killhope was one of the most productive lead mines in England in the late 1800s so the exhibition opens with a video exploring minerals and their industrial uses. The Led Here By Lead section also explains why it was the specific geology of the area that led to people choosing to settle at the top end of Weardale.
Visitors then make their way into a miner’s kitchen, where items reflecting the everyday life of Victorian miners, who usually combined their work underground with farming, are on display.
The mine manager’s drawing room features mineral collections, surveying equipment, Sopwith model and scientific treatises, our country show area offers an insight into the arts and crafts that occupied the miners during their spare time.
Killhope’s famous spar box collection is still well represented, with the Eggleston spar box, a two metre tall fantastical display of minerals assembled into a miniature cavern, taking pride of place in the exhibition.