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Visitor Centre

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Wanlockhead is Scotland’s highest village sitting at 1531 ft./468.08 m. above sea level.

The Museum of Lead Mining Visitor Centre is situated in the heart of the village. The Visitor Centre was built in 1991 on the site of the old Smiddy.

Whats on offer

The Visitor Centre houses the Gift Shop, Tea Room and the museum. The Visitor Centre museum is a self-guided walk-through exhibition, which tells the story starting with the geology of the area. On display are some of the most spectacular minerals found in the surrounding Lowther Hills, an area which is responsible for 1% of all known mineral types in the world today.

You will learn how lead ore was mined and processed. Lead ore is also known as galena. The mining of lead ore is also known as ‘winning’.  Here you will see the different equipment and pumps used by the miners to ‘win’ the ore and keep the mine  water levels down.

The museum tells the story of some of the many notable, local poets, authors and engineers.

Robert Burns, in his role as an excise man, visited Wanlockhead during the snowy winter of 1789. His horse was slipping on the ice and he asked the blacksmith to replace the horse’s shoes with spiked shoes to improve his grip. The blacksmith was very busy, but managed to fit in the work. While he waited, Robert Burns wrote the poem ‘Pegasus’ as payment.

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