Matlock Bath Through Time

Discover how Matlock Bath changed from a lead mining hamlet, to a spa considered as fine as Harrogate or Buxton, then to a inland sea-side style resort for day trippers.


The Museum houses thousands of items, relics of the lost lead industry, which are explained and interpreted in an imaginative and thought-provoking exhibition. These include hundreds of rock and mineral specimens from around the world. Interactive exhibits and climbing tunnels, provide something for the young and the young at heart.


Our Top 3 Exhibits

The Wills Founder Water Pressure Engine

This massive pumping engine is the centre-piece of the museum. It was built in Coalbrookdale in 1819, a feat of engineering, and resourcefully used the pressure created by falling water to pump water from deep underground.

Climbing and crawling tunnels

The three mock-mine tunnels in the museum are favourites for many of our visitors, of all ages!

The Howie Mineral Collection

Professor Howie donated over 3000 mineral specimens from around the world to the museum, which had been collected throughout his lifetime. A large selection of these are on display. We do not have space to display them all!


The mine is accessed via a short but steep slope. The roof is low in places and there are steps and uneven floors within, which can get wet and slippy. This means that unfortunately it is not fully accessible. We are working on an interactive walk-through programme for anyone who is not able to visit the mine.