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The National Coal Mining Museum for England is located at Caphouse Colliery, on the western edge of the Yorkshire coalfield, where mining has been carried out for centuries.

A plan dated 1791 and showing workings from 1789 to 1795 includes a shaft on the Caphouse site. It is probably the oldest coal-mine shaft still in everyday use in Britain today.

Before 1827 the colliery was owned by the Milnes family but then passed into the ownership of the Lister Kaye family, until 1917.

After 1917 the colliery was run by a company, which included the ex-manager Percy Greaves, a colliery owner in his own right. Around 1941 Arthur Sykes of Lockwood and Elliottt bought the colliery and remained as owner until Nationalisation in 1947. By 1985 the coal at Caphouse was exhausted and its conversion to a Museum began.

The Museum Today

In 1988 the Yorkshire Mining Museum opened at Caphouse. The Museum was granted National status in 1995. Following this the Department of Culture, Media and Sport carried out a detailed study into the Museum, and provided funding which secured its long term future. In 2001 the Museum received a Heritage Lottery Grant of just over £4.5 million. The Museum raised just under £2 million to complement the grant. Work carried out using this money included restoring buildings, new gallery areas and the store for large machinery.

More recently, the Museum was awarded a further grant of just under £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which together with funding from the EU LIFE Environment Programme, has enabled the conservation and interpretation of the buildings at Hope Pit. The Hope Pit scheme was opened in May 2005 by Johnny Ball.

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is a registered charity administered by a Board of Trustees. It was established with funding from West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire Metropolitan County Councils, Wakefield and Kirklees Metropolitan District Councils and technical support and assistance from British Coal.


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