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50th Anniversary Celebration

After 50 years ‘Lead turns gold!’

Home | 50th Anniversary Celebration

Join us in celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the Museum of Lead Mining. 50 years telling the story that nearly disappeared.

To mark this anniversary, we are developing new displays and literature documenting the history of the museum within the community, sharing stories and memories. Come and see how the miners lived and worked, where they learnt and the ingenious engineering methods they developed to manage the mines sump water.

Through the season we will be presenting 5 talks on subjects related to the museum and the community. There will be special events over the Anniversary Weekend of 20th and 21st July supported by the Leadhills Silver Band and a Summer Craft Fair hosted in Wanlockhead Community Centre. You can come and meet the forward looking communities/businesses the museum is working with to develop new technologies looking into the future.

The Story

It is said that lead mining has taken place in the Southern Uplands since Roman times. It was at its height between the 1700s and 1900s (the last lead mine closed in Wanlockhead in 1956). In the early 1970s a visiting industrial archaeologist, Geoff Downs Rose, started to collect mining artefacts and document the mines/mining infrastructure. With enthusiastic community support the collection grew until the museum was established in 1974. The museum is run by Wanlockhead Museum Trust (SC001508).

The aim of the charity is to preserve and conserve the social and industrial history with its artefacts and share these stories and artefacts with the general public. The museum became accredited and the Collection was recognised as having national significance in 2007. Despite recent challenges related to the Covid pandemic and the economic downturn, we are still here! So come and share the story.

Getting Here

By car, we are just under an hour from Glasgow, an hour and a half from Edinburgh and just over an hour from Carlisle.

Directions from M74 (approx. 15 mins)
Directions from A76 (approx. 15 mins)

Directions from the M74
Your junction number from the M74 will be determined by the direction in which you are travelling. If you are travelling northbound on the M74 then use junction 14.

If you are travelling southbound then leave at junction 13. The Museum is well signposted from both junctions.

Directions from the A76
To reach us from the A76 Dumfries to Kilmarnock road, check out the map and you will see the junction for Wanlockhead (B797) is just outside the village of Mennock, two miles from Sanquhar.

This route will take you through the spectacular Mennock Pass, as it climbs up to the village.

Map Key

– Lead Mining Museum & Public Toilets
– Miners Library
– Straitsteps Cottages
– Lochnell Mine. (Access along footpath opposite museum)
– Study Centre & Overflow Parking
– Goldscaur Cottage (Archive & Office)
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