The Isle of Purbeck has a rich and varied history, with many industries contributing to the areas economic success over the years. Clay mining was once one of the areas mainstays and the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum is dedicated to telling the story of those that worked hard in this difficult and often dangerous profession.
The museum is located at Norden Station within the newly formed Purbeck Park. It is housed in one of the few remaining underground mine buildings and helps give the impression of what it was like to work underground. There are numerous collections on display showcasing a range of mining equipment as well as various exhibits detailing the social and economic impact mining had on the region.
The information is presented in photos, videos, reconstructions and signage. There is also the opportunity to handle various rocks and minerals.
Whilst the focus is mainly on the ball clay industry, the museum is also interested in other forms of extraction including limestones, chalk, gas and oil.
The small museum is independent and entirely run by a dedicated team of volunteers who are warm, welcoming and knowledgeable about mining and its history. Entry is free, however donations are welcomed to ensure the museum continues to educate visitors to the area.
There is pay and display car parking nearby should you choose to arrive by car. For an extra special way to experience this museum, why not arrive via the Swanage steam railway?! It can also be incorporated into a visit to Corfe – the historic castle ruins are just a short walk away.
Follow signs to Wareham and then pick up signs to Swanage
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