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Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum, Wareham

#8 of 22 in Things to do in Wareham
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum exists to preserve and interpret the historic extractive industries in ball clay mining in the Isle of Purbeck. The museum is located adjacent to Norden station on the Swanage Railway and is open from the end of March to the end of September on weekends, some weekdays and Bank Holidays.

A redundant mine has been relocated to Norden with a railway laid around the site, a new engine shed and the restoration of wagons that worked on the lines around Norden.

The main future aim of the museum is to construct a new building at Norden to house Secundus, a 2 foot 8 inch steam loco, wagons and other artefacts not on display at present. It will also contain a library and education centre.

It is planned to extend the narrow gauge railway to the other side of the Swanage Branch line to land owned by the group via Bridge 15. In 2010 a structural engineer surveyed Bridge 15, a skew bridge over the Swanage Railway. The condition of the bridge was good for a "temporary" bridge built in 1885. Since then the Bridge has been involved in a serious incident in which it has been severely damaged.
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Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum reviews

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79 reviews
  • Situated at the Norden station of the Swanage railway, it's a small museum about the ball clay mining. Lovely warm welcome from the volunteers who offered a history of the museum. Free entry but do...  more »
  • Visited the mining museum with three generations, all of whom had a great time. The displays are informative and interesting and the way the museum is set up really brings mining to life. It right...  more »
  • Purbeck's best kept secret. Really well done, loads less boring than it sounds…great for all ages and brilliant tunnel section. Virtually free! £1 donation requested. Entrance not clear so don’t just observe the outside, walk up the path that looks like it leads to nowhere…there is a lovely surprise around the corner.
  • It’s obvious that a lot of love and labour has been put into producing this great little museum, absolutely enhancing the experience. Worth a little detour at Norden station to have a good explore - the tunnel section is really cool!

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