Somerset Museums


Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum

Waterloo Road, BA3 3EP


Our award-winning museum transports you back to the Victorian industrial age; a time when Somerset had 75 coal mines covering an area 240 square miles.

Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum

Our award-winning museum transports you back to the Victorian industrial age; a time when Somerset had 75 coal mines covering an area of 240 square miles.  The mines brought with them canals, tramways and railways and our villages and towns grew to accommodate the miners and their families plus all the people needed to support the collieries and the transportation of coal to places such as Bath and London.

Explore our reconstructed coalmine and through the candlelit darkness you will see for yourself how dangerous and difficult it was for men and boys as young as five years old working in Somerset’s famously narrow coal seams, sometimes just two feet high. Hear the sounds of their picks and shovels; see the carting boy crawling through the tunnel dragging his put of coal. Why is he wearing only trousers and no boots?

See how the miner’s wife managed daily life in our miner’s cottage, with as many as fourteen children to raise, and only a tin bath in front of the coal range for her husband and sons to wash in after a day down the mine.  Go into her laundry room and outside privy, where a bucket under a wooden shelf with a hole in it provided the only toilet for several families to share! Where was the bucket emptied?

Visit our old Co-op shop and learn how the co-operative society was set up by the people of Radstock to provide them with affordable food. Gaze upon our array of old packaging - can you see any recognisable brands still with us today?

In our blacksmith’s shop the forge glows red hot; the blacksmith would heat his metal to make tools for the local farmers, repair the miners’ picks and shovels, shoe horses and repair colliery machinery.

Walk through the Victorian schoolroom; compare it with today’s classrooms. Imagine having only a slate to write on or worse, being caned! Why did Victorian girls wear aprons to school?

Get a birds eye view of central Radstock in the days of steam; our model shows where the Somerset and Dorset and Great Western Railways converged and where coal was loaded into wagons and taken by steam locomotives far and wide. See our collection of railway exhibits.

Enjoy our fossil collection, visiting exhibitions, and our book and gift shop. Then relax in our cafe selling hot and cold drinks, delicious cakes and snacks.



Image Gallery

Opening Hours

February to November

Tuesday 14:00 - 17:00

Wednesday 14:00 - 17:00

Thursday 14:00 - 17:00

Friday 14:00 - 17:00

Saturday 11:00 - 17:00

Sunday 14:00 - 17:00

Monday - Closed






          KEY FEATURES


              PAYMENT METHODS


                  TOURS & DEMONSTRATIONS

                    TRAVEL & TRADE

                      • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors

                      • Educational Visits Accepted

                      • Family Fun

                      • Group discounts available

                      • Guide dogs permitted

                      • Maestro accepted

                      • MasterCard accepted

                      • On-Site café/restaurant

                      • Open by appointment outside normal opening times

                      • Parking (free)

                      • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors

                      • Shop

                      • Toilets

                      • Toilets for disabled visitors

                      • Visa accepted

                      Public Transport Directions

                      Free car park approx. 30m from entrance

                      Free unrestricted on street parking available in Waterloo Road.

                      Other free car parks within the town.

                      Regular buses running to and from Bath, Wells and Frome just 5 minute walk from the entrance


                      Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum
                      Waterloo Road
                      BA3 3EP
                      United Kingdom

                      T: +44 (0)1761 437722



                      Facebook: @RadstockMuseum

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