Museum

Opening in spring 2018, the Kent Mining Museum will be at the heart of Betteshanger's new Visitor Centre.


The Museum

Built on the site of Kent’s last working coal mine, Kent Mining Museum will share and celebrate the story of energy in Kent – from coal mining through to sustainable energy.

Opening in 2018, the Museum will include exciting, interactive displays telling visitors how coal was discovered, how it was mined and about the day-to-day lives of the miners who worked at the collieries and the communities that surrounded them. The unique collection includes captivating photographic records, fascinating personal stories and memories, formal records and documents plus remarkable artefacts. The Museum will also provide a focus for the four Kent collieries and their communities; Betteshanger, Snowdown, Tilmanstone, Chislet, Aylesham, Elvington and Hersden.

Providing opportunities for formal and informal learning, skills sharing, volunteering and co-creating, the Museum will enable a wide range of people to participate in, and learn about, the largely untold story of Kent’s rich mining heritage.

The Collection

Like the collieries and surrounding villages of Kent, people are at the heart of our new museum. Our aim is to collect and preserve the East Kent Coalfield’s unique heritage for people to explore and enjoy, now and in the future.

Every object tells a story and we’re already off to a great start with building the museum’s collection. But we need more stories – your stories, and we’d really like you to get involved.  

If you have something, a badge, books, photographs, Davy lamp, tools or a grandparent’s diary telling of their journey to Kent, please get in touch. We can give them a safe home where they’ll be used, shared with future generations and not hidden away.

Or maybe you have a story to tell about you or your family? Fill in your details on the memory board below or give us a call; we’d love to visit you, hear your tales and record your memories.

Funding

Kent Mining Heritage Foundation is a registered charity (charity no. 1165403) working in partnership with Betteshanger Park, Hadlow Group, Aylesham and Elvington & Eythorne Heritage Centres to collect care and promote East Kent’s coal mining heritage.

The project has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.3m for development and operation of the Kent Mining Museum. 

On announcement of the grant, Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “Kent’s mining heritage isn’t as well-known as other parts of the country but it was of national importance and changed the social and economic make-up of the region. East Kent is the only coalfield without its own regional museum and our committee felt that this project is a fitting way to celebrate and preserve this industrial past.”

Your Memory Board

"I lived in Hersden and worked at Chislet Colliery from 1954 till 1962 and served a five year mechanical apprenticeship. This was 3 years underground and the rest on the surface. My father Tom and my uncles and cousins also worked at Chislet. We were all members of the Colliery Band and I remember the friendly rivalry between us and the Betteshanger and Snowdown Bands.

I've traveled the world and lived in many of the United States but have never found anything like the camaraderie of the miners."

Alan Hodgson


MemoryBoard

Share your memories with
Kent Mining Museum


Without real life stories and memories, the Kent Mining Museum project will not succeed. We need your help and your memories! Did you, or a family member, work at one of the Kent collieries or live in the surrounding communities? Do you have a childhood memory or even memories of visiting the Park?