Big Pit is now a museum dedicated to the industrial and Coal Mining heritage of Blaenavon, South Wales.
It was a working mine from 1860 to 1980. After it closed it was turned into a museum and reopened in 1983. It became part of the National Museum of Wales in 2001.
If you are travelling there from the Heads of the Valleys road you’ll come down the valley and the panoramas are spectacular. When you reach the site there is a Pay and Display car park (currently £3) and that’s all you pay.. the museum is free but please make a donation to the site.
When you walk into the museum you are invited to join an underground tour. You are kitted up with a helmet and torch and taken 90 metres underground by a coal miner – our guide was Russell – all of them know how tough it was and really brings to life what the conditions were like. The tour takes about an hour.
When you come back up you can visit the rest of the museum.
- The Mining Galleries – an innovative multi-media tour with a virtual miner.
- Exhibitions in the Pithead Baths – the shower rooms, boot room and lockers. There are notices on some of the lockers that tell you about some of the miners and other people associated with mining. Some also have ‘sound bites’ playing.
- You move from the Baths onto the main exhibition room which show you how mining changed over the years. Around the walls are pictures of what life was like for the families.
There is also a good cafe on site situated in the Miners Canteen
The Museum is a great place to visit if you are interested in the South Wales / Valleys history. The Ironworks are also close by which would round off a visit nicely.
You can read more about the museum here : National Museum of Wales – Big Pit.
I have written this post to share my thoughts about Big Pit. I was not asked by anyone to write it.
All pictures and words are my own and cannot be reproduced without permission.