Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum

Useful Information

Location: Tunstall
Open: Every year on the Heritage Open Day, 2nd Sunday of September.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 8UN,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1838 first shaft sunk.
1867 two collieries bought by the Whitfield Colliery Company Limited.
1873 Chatterley Iron Company Limited buys the Whitfield Colliery Company Limited.
1881 serious fire and explosion at the colliery killing 24 men.
1884 company goes bankrupt.
1886 Edwards Brownfield Wain appointed Colliery Manager by the .
1976 coal mine closed.
1977 site operated as a mining museum, housing the National Coalmining Collection.
1991 museum ran out of funds and closed.
1991 declared a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage.



The Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum is located at the Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, one of 22 collieries on the Staffordshire coalfield. The museum was closed in 1991 when it run outr of funds and the contents were auctioned. But now it has been reactivated by the Friends of Chatterley Whitfield who open it once a year on the Heritage Open Day on the second Sunday of September to the public. They offered three tours in 2007 which equaled 70 visitors, and the places were booked out days before. If you plan to visit the mine on such an event book early.

The tours differ every year. The friends are dependent on the City Council which must allow acces to the site. In 2007 they were able to show the Lamphouse, the Pithead Baths, and the Middle Pit winding shed. The former Underground Experience, underground mine tours given between 1977 and 1991, has been blocked up. So the tours only show above ground mining buildings.

Mining started at Chatterley Whitfield less than 200 years ago. But the area is known for its coal since the 14th century, when the monks of the Hulton Abbey came to nearby Ridgeway, less than a kilometre to the east, where eight seams crop out. Around the 1850s several mines existed in the area and the first shafts had been lowered. Seams were mined underground. In 1854 the local coalmasters planned to build a railroad through Biddulph Valley to be able to transport the coal to the markets. This forced the North Staffordshire Railway Company to construct the branch, as they did not want a private railroad around. After its completion in 1860 mining boosted.

In 1867 two collieries were bought by a group of investors known as the Gentlemen of Tunstall, who founded the Whitfield Colliery Company Limited to work them. They modernized the mines, built new shafts and widened existing shafts. But after only a few years, in 1873, the company was bought by the Chatterley Iron Company Limited. They were owning blast furnaces, an oil distilling plant, and a mine for ironstone in the Chatterley Valley, but needed coal for the furnaces. They immediately started to develop the mine and its production.