The Museum Tour

Step back in time with our fully-guided 1½ hour tour

Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum is unique. From the external buildings, still standing to this day, to the haulage drifts and underground tunnels, the museum stands out as being located on the site of an actual ironstone mine. Between 1865 and 1958, over 500 men and boys were employed here, making this, Loftus Mine, the third largest mine in Cleveland.

The Museum

Following a short film introducing the origins, decline and legacy of the Cleveland ironstone mines, step into the museum gallery as our fully-trained guides go through our history, plans and artefacts. Discover how the miners were paid, what equipment they carried into the black tunnels, and find out to what terrifying use they put papier-mâché…

The Upcast

Delve deeper into the old buildings of Loftus Mine, take in the immense Sirocco Fan and discover the different ventilation systems that quenched fires and kept miners alive; and before continuing, glimpse the 60 foot deep ventilation shaft but don’t drop anything into the black waters below…

The Tally Cabin

At the mouth of the North Drift, the miners signed in and out at the Tally Cabin for their daily shifts. Descend into the North Drift, one of Loftus Mine’s original haulage drifts. From the North Drift, ironstone was extracted for over 90 years, and in 1916 local people actually slept as Zeppelin airships terrorised the nearby steelworks.

The Dark Room

Prepared to be plunged into total darkness as you listen to the story of twelve-year-old Fred and his memories of his first day underground as a “trappy lad”.

The Experience

Enter the candlelit tunnels of the underground working place where the Deputy on duty will demonstrate how ironstone was drilled and blasted over a century ago, before inviting a guest to light the fuse and set off the blast. Don’t linger!