Tour Outline

The Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum is unique in that it is the only museum located on the actual site of a former ironstone mine.  Loftus Mine was worked from 1865 to 1958 and was the third largest in the Cleveland District, employing in its heyday over 500 men and boys.

 

In the beginning……
Inside the MuseumYour tour of the site will begin with a short, specially made film graphically describing the origins and then eventual decline of ironstone mining in Cleveland. Your guide will then conduct you into the museum gallery in which are displayed a selection of historic photographs and plans, along with a selection of artefacts including original miners’ helmets & lamps
Air to Breathe
The next stage of the visit takes you through the remains of the mine ventilation system, where the workings of the different kinds of ventilation fan will be explained and demonstrated. You will also get the chance to look down one of the ventilation shafts – be careful not to drop anything – it’s 60 feet deep and permanently flooded.
Going Underground
It’s now time to put on your helmet and collect your token before venturing into the North Drift, one of Loftus Mines original haulage drifts, from which ironstone was extracted for over 90 years. In 1916 local people actually slept down here, as Zeppelin airships raided the nearby steelworks.
 Looking into the North Drift

Working the Stone The final part of the tour includes a few minutes of total darkness as you listen to the story of Fred and his memories of his first day underground as a twelve-year-old “trappy lad”. Workplace ExperienceYou then make your way into the underground working place,where by flickering candlelight the Deputy on duty will demonstrate how ironstone was drilled and blasted over a century ago, before inviting one of you to light the fuse and set off the blast. Don’t linger!

Lighting the SquibThe complete tour takes approximately 1½ hours and you will be accompanied throughout by one of our enthusiastic volunteer guides who will do his or her best to answer any questions and ensure that your visit is interesting, informative & entertaining.


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