Historical & Cultural
The Bishops Palace
East Lambrook Manor Gardens
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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.
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.
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
All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
Educational Visits Accepted
Group discounts available
Guide dogs permitted
Open by appointment outside normal opening times
Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
Toilets for disabled visitors
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 RoadRadstockBA3 3EPUnited Kingdom
T: +44 (0)1761 437722
Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum
Planning on visiting the amazing Thermae Bath Spa?
This exhibition showcases the best of the region’s artistic talent
Postponed from its summer 2020, this family-friendly exhibition is a fun continuation of the 2017
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