The lead mine museum in Killhope recently welcomed Richard Holden MP to have a look around their facilities.
Killhope is a multi-award winning 19th century mining museum in the centre of the spectacular North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you can experience the life and work of the lead mines. Killhope was only active from 1852 for about 40 years and seemed like an early Venture Capital scheme which both made and destroyed fortunes of those who owned the mine.
There’s loads to do there, from walking around the museum and fascinating exhibition to soaking up Weardale’s stunning views over a picnic. However, what makes the museum so special is that you can go underground in the mine itself. Richard enjoyed a full tour, taking a walk down through living history. It is so well preserved it is almost like taking a journey back in time to an important part of County Durham’s past.
Lead mining has been taking place in the UK since the Iron Age, but the operation at Killhope started on an industrial scale relatively late. That said, an estimated 60,000 tons of lead has been extracted from this site in its short and dramatic lifespan.
Although Killhope isn’t a typical mine the mines have been central to the history of County Durham for hundreds of years. Whilst Richard is from East Lancashire, another part of England with rich mining heritage, Richard’s afternoon was well spent connecting with the ancestors of his constituents. Seeing and feeling what they experienced must help him further understand the rich history of Durham, allowing him to better understand its present and helping to guide its future.
Commenting, Richard Holden MP said:
“Thanks so much to Julie Bell and Alison Clark for inviting me and showing me around the Killhope Mining museum in Weardale. It was truly eye opening and fascinating to learn about day-to-day Victorian life in the mine. Nowhere else could you get such a vivid insight into life in the mines.
“It was great to get a first-hand insight into this with an eye opening tour of the lead mines. I would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to really connect with our not-so-distant past but just remember to pack your wellies!”