Region: North West England

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Higher Green Lane, Astley Green, Tyldesley, Lancashire M29 7JB

Contact: 01942 828121



On the edge of Chat Moss, in an area once full of collieries, lies the picturesque village of Astley Green. In the heart of the village stands Astley Green Colliery Museum which, but for the foresight of Lancashire County Council and several leading figures within the community, would have suffered the same fate as the other collieries in the area, total demolition.

It was the uniqueness of the 3,300 hp twin tandem compound steam winding engine that brought the demolition to a halt. As the result of the intervention, the museum houses Lancashire's only surviving headgear and engine house, both of which now have listed building status.

The museum occupies some fifteen acres of the Astley Green Colliery site. To the south lies the Bridgewater Canal and Astley Moss, an important mossland site. The low-lying landscape ensures that the museum's 98ft high lattice steel headgear can be seen for many miles, a fitting memorial to days now past.

Apart from the steam winding engine and headgear the museum houses many exhibits, not least of which is the collection of 28 colliery locomotives, the largest collection of its type in the United Kingdom.

The colliery began its life in 1908 to exploit coal reserves in the south Lancashire Coalfield. Had it not been for the increasing demand for coal, at that time, the project would not have been viable. The coal seams at Astley Green are very deep and overlain by 100 feet of wet and unstable ground. These factors made the sinking of the shaft a very expensive proposition.

The novelty of many of the requirements tested the ingenuity of the engineers during the construction, so much so that a paper, on the sinking of the shaft, was presented to the Institute of Mining Engineers. The colliery had a lifespan of only 62 years, finally closing its gates in 1970. Because of its short and relatively recent history, a considerable number of written and photographic records have survived. This has enabled a detailed study to be made of the construction of the colliery and its subsequent operation.

The museum is now run and maintained, on behalf of the community, by the Red Rose Steam Society Limited, a registered charity based in Lancashire.
Group sizes:  Up to 30 (not including teachers/helpers)


Age ranges: All

We can provide leaflets and worksheets at the venue.

Teachers are welcome to do pre-arranged risk assessments.

Contact: Rachel Orme (Learning Outreach Manager)

Cost: Flat-rate charge of £65 per visit, but if the school want to make more than one trip per year, then we can offer the following:

1 visits -  £65

2 visits -  £120

3 visits -  £175

Warm cloths and Wellingtons might be required during colder and or wetter times of year.  A nature walk is included.

There might be an on-site first aider, but to be cautious it would be better to bring a qualified first aide person with your specific group.

There are no on-site shop or refreshment facilities, we advise you to bring packed lunches.

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Heritage Railways Historical Heritage Museums Outdoor Education Science & Technology Themed Attractions Team Building

Curriculum Topics Covered: Citizenship Design and Technology English Engineering Geography History Science

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December