© Big Pit: National Coal Mining Museum
- Big Pit is a real colliery. It was the place of work for hundreds of men, women and children for over 200 years - a daily struggle to extract that precious mineral that stoked the furnaces and lit the household fires of the world. Kitted out in helmet, cap-lamp and battery pack, you descend 90 metres to another world; a world of shafts, coal faces and levels, of underground roadways, air doors and stables. Your pit lamp lights an inky darkness - darker than you can imagine. But you are never alone. Guided by an ex-miner, with easy good humour and first-hand knowledge, you get a real sense of life at the coal face. Returning to the surface, the colliery buildings, the winding engine-house, the blacksmiths workshop and pithead baths complete the picture of a working pit that at its height employed 1,300 men.