National Coal Mining Museum is located at Caphouse colliery which is in Overton in West Yorkshire. It opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum but it was in 1995 that it was granted the National status.
Caphouse mine was sank around 1789 and
is probably the oldest coal mine shaft still in use today.
It was owned by the Milnes family but changed hands when the Kaye family took over.
It changed hands again in 1917 and was run as an independent company. It was in the early 1940's that Arthur Sykes bought the colliery but in 1947 it is nationalised. The mine was run until 1985 as it became uneconomical.
The minors strike
of 1984/5 helped seal its fate.
It 1985 work started in converting the colliery into a museum and was opened in 1988 as the
Yorkshire Mining Museum. Funding came from various councils and technical support came from British Coal.
1995 saw the museum granted national status. The department for culture, media and sport provided funding in 1998 after completing a detailed survey of the museum. A grant of £4.5 million was given to the museum in 2001 by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the museum raised another £2 million to compliment the grant. The money was well spent with the restoration of buildings, a new gallery and a store for large machinery.
In 2002 the admission fee scraped and the museum became free to the public.
Another grant of £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £1 million from the Eu Life Environment Programme and funds from the Coal Authority has given Hope Pit an environmentally friendly water treatment plant. This was opened by Johnny Ball in May 2005
The National Coal Mineing Muesum has occasionally featured in television programme's. In June 2005, Most Haunted Live! visited the location on Summer Solstice, while in 2006, Caphouse Colliery appeared in an advertising campaign for Pot Noodle, pretending to be a Noodle Mine in South Wales.