Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum

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Ruston steam shovel and narrow gauge train at the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum - train and navvy (geograph 4585364).jpg
Ruston steam shovel and narrow gauge train at the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum

The Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum is located in Threlkeld three miles (4.8 km) east of Keswick, in the heart of the Lake District in Cumbria. It is suited for families, school classes and enthusiasts. It includes a quarry with a unique collection of historic machinery, such as locomotives and cranes, an underground tour of a realistic mine, a comprehensive geological and mining museum and mineral panning.

Threlkeld farm village in the United Kingdom

Threlkeld is a village and civil parish in the north of the Lake District in Cumbria, England, to the east of Keswick. It lies at the southern foot of Blencathra, one of the more prominent fells in the northern Lake District, and to the north of the River Glenderamackin.

Keswick, Cumbria Town and parish in the English Lake District National Park

Keswick is an English market town and a civil parish, historically in Cumberland, and since 1974 in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria. Lying within the Lake District National Park, Keswick is just north of Derwentwater and is 4 miles (6.4 km) from Bassenthwaite Lake. It had a population of 4,821 at the 2011 census.

The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, and its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and covers an area of 2,362 square kilometres. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.

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Quarry

Outdoor display Threlkeld Mining museum (5673763174).jpg
Outdoor display

Threlkeld Quarry originally opened in 1870 to supply railway ballast to the Penrith-Keswick line. Later, the stone was used by the Manchester Corporation Water Works for their Thirlmere scheme, for railway ballast for the Crewe-Carlisle line, for roadstone, kerbing and for facing buildings with dressed stone. The granite quarry finally closed in 1982 and is now the site for the Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum which is run by a group of staff and volunteers. [1]

Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway transport company

The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway (CK&PR) was an English railway company incorporated by Act of Parliament on 1 August 1861, to build a line connecting the town of Cockermouth with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) West Coast Main Line at Penrith. Arrangements for the use of the stations at either end were included. Passenger and goods traffic was worked by the LNWR and mineral traffic by the North Eastern Railway, both of whom had shares in the company. The line was 31 12 miles (50.7 km) in length, and had eight intermediate stations.

Thirlmere reservoir in the United Kingdom

Thirlmere is a reservoir in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria and the English Lake District. The Helvellyn ridge lies to the east of Thirlmere. To the west of Thirlmere are a number of fells; for instance, Armboth Fell and Raven Crag both of which give views of the lake and of Helvellyn beyond. It runs roughly south to north and is bordered on the eastern side for much of its length by the A591 road and on the western side by a minor road. It occupies the site of a former natural lake: this had a fordable waist so narrow that it was sometimes regarded as two lakes. In the 19th century Manchester Corporation constructed a dam at the northern end, raising the water level, flooding the valley bottom, and creating a reservoir to provide the growing industrial city of Manchester with water supplies via the 96 mile-long Thirlmere Aqueduct. The reservoir and the aqueduct still provide water to the Manchester area, but under the Water Act 1973 ownership passed to the North West Water Authority; as a result of subsequent privatisation and amalgamation they are now owned and managed by United Utilities, a private water and waste water company.

West Coast Main Line Railway route in Britain

The West Coast Main Line (WCML) is one of the most important railway corridors in the United Kingdom, connecting the major cities of London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Glasgow. It is one of the busiest mixed-traffic railway routes in Europe, carrying a mixture of intercity rail, regional rail, commuter rail and rail freight traffic. The core route of the WCML runs from London to Glasgow, with branches diverging to Northampton, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, totalling a route mileage of 700 miles (1,127 km). Services from London to North Wales and Edinburgh also run via the WCML; however the main London-Edinburgh route is the East Coast Main Line. In addition, several sections of the WCML form part of the suburban railway systems in London, Coventry, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow, with many more smaller commuter stations, as well as providing links to more rural towns.

The extensive quarry site has ample space for the display of the unique collection of vintage excavators and old quarry machinery.

Railway

Narrow gauge tipper trucks Threlkeld quarry - off the rails (geograph 4585267).jpg
Narrow gauge tipper trucks

The track of the 2 ft (610 mm) gauge quarry railway has been relaid and provides a ride into the inner quarry for visitors to view the quarry faces in safety. Several locomotives are in regular use and others are on display in the Top Shed.

Sir Tom

The steam locomotive 'Sir Tom' was built by W.G. Bagnall of Stafford in 1926 and named after Sir Tom Callender of British Insulated Callender's Cables (BICC). This 0-4-0 saddle tank narrow gauge locomotive worked at BICC in Kent until 1968. After being idle for thirty three years, it arrived at Threlkeld in 2001, and since then has been completely overhauled. Sir Tom was rebuilt and is driven by Ian Hartland. The locomotive completed the first full season of work at Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum in 2010. Sir Tom is mainly used to haul passenger trains from the middle quarry into the inner quarry. [2]

Stafford county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England

Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England. It lies approximately 16 miles (26 km) north of Wolverhampton, 18 miles (29 km) south of Stoke-on-Trent and 24 miles (39 km) north-west of Birmingham. The population in 2001 was 63,681 and that of the wider borough of Stafford 122,000, the third largest in the county after Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Thomas Octavius Callender Scottish electrical engineer

Sir Thomas Octavius Callender was an engineer and businessman, who promoted the electrical industry.

British Insulated Callenders Cables

British Insulated Callender's Cables (BICC) was a 20th-century British cable manufacturer and construction company, now renamed after former subsidiary Balfour Beatty.

Hunslet

Hunslet diesel locomotive Diesel locomotive, Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum (geograph 3474733).jpg
Hunslet diesel locomotive

The 0-4-0 Hunslet diesel locomotive with 50 hp was built in 1945 and used by the National Coal Board in the South Yorkshire area. It was retrieved from the underground prior to a colliery closing. I has been modified at the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum to make it more suitable for passenger trains and is regularly used.

0-4-0 Locomotive wheel arrangement

Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 0-4-0 represents one of the simplest possible types, that with two axles and four coupled wheels, all of which are driven. The wheels on the earliest four-coupled locomotives were connected by a single gear wheel, but from 1825 the wheels were usually connected with coupling rods to form a single driven set.

Hunslet inner-city area in south Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

Hunslet is an inner-city area in south Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of the city centre and has an industrial past.

Horsepower Unit of power

Horsepower (hp) is a unit of measurement of power, or the rate at which work is done. There are many different standards and types of horsepower. Two common definitions being used today are the mechanical horsepower, which is about 745.7 watts, and the metric horsepower, which is approximately 735.5 watts.

Ruston

The Ruston 48 DL diesel locomotive from 1947 was used by the Royal Navy Armaments Depot in Broughton Nook, near Cockermouth. It was acquired, when the depot closed in 1994, and was regauged from 2 ft 6 in (760 mm) to 2 ft (610 mm) and fitted with air braking so it can operate passenger trains and it is in regular use.

Ruston (engine builder) engine company

Ruston & Hornsby was an industrial equipment manufacturer in Lincoln, England founded in 1918. The company is best known as a manufacturer of narrow and standard gauge diesel locomotives and also of steam shovels. Other products included cars, steam locomotives and a range of internal combustion engines, and later gas turbines. It is now a subsidiary of Siemens.

Underground mine

The museum now has a new underground mine which has been developed with the help and collaboration with the Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society and some volunteers. A guided tour through a reconstructed lead and copper mine is one of the highlights of the museum (dependent on weather and staff availability. To be confirmed by phone). Mineral panning is optionally available.

Museum

The museum has been in operation for more than ten years, and the site continues to expand through the dedication of the staff and volunteers. The museum is open 7 days a week from Easter to October. [3]

Mining Room

The Mining Room exhibits artefacts, plans and photographs of explorations of many mines in the Lake District, which exploited ores of copper, iron, lead, zinc, tungsten, graphite, barites and fluorite. A representative display of local minerals can be seen, and there is a section on lighting, drilling and explosives.

The Quarry Room

The Quarry Room explains the relationship between the geology of the Lake District and the quarrying of local limestone, sandstone, granite and slate. Samples of rocks from all the important local formations are fixed to a large table map. Photographs and rock samples from more than fifty old and more recent quarries are displayed to illustrate the special features of each.

Open air exhibition

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Steam shovel steam-powered excavation machine

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References

Coordinates: 54°36′47″N3°02′49″W / 54.6130789°N 3.0470752°W / 54.6130789; -3.0470752