Summerlee - Museum of Scottish Industrial Life
Situated in Coatbridge, an important centre within Scotland’s ‘industrial heartland’, Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life is built on the site of the old Summerlee Iron works, and incorporated the main workshop of the former Hydrocon Crane factory.
Focusing on the Monklands area, Summerlee - Museum of Scottish Industrial Life features the social and industrial history of Central Scotland. You will experience the Monkland Canal, an operating boat shop, an archaeological excavation of 1830s ironworks, a coal mine, and much more.
All ages are sure to enjoy the interactive exhibits here, too, such as the reconstructed miners' cottages and mine. The indoor and outdoor museum features an electric tramway that provides transport around the site. Before you leave, check out the gift shop and play area for children, or stop by the cafe to grab some refreshments.
Summerlee's 22 acres are based around the site of the 19th Century Summerlee Ironworks, a fore-runner in the use of the innovative hot-blast iron smelting process that led Coatbridge to fame and fortune as Scotland's 'Iron Burgh'.
With some 150,000 visitors a year, the museum is now one of Scotland's leading 'free-to-enter' attractions.
Summerlee main features are:
• A huge under-cover exhibition hall, with a variety of interactive exhibits, 'hands on' activities for children and working machinery to view.
• Re-created adit mine and miners' cottages. Guides take small groups down the mine, which is entered by a sloping track rather than a shaft. The cottages show the domestic side of their lives from the 1840s to the 1980s.
• An electric tramway gives rides on restored modern and Edwardian tramcars. A modest fee gives all-day rides (Discounted for children).
• The 'Photomedia Workshop'. A brand-new community resource for the creative development of photographic skills in both traditional film and digital media. Information on classes and exhibitions available from Summerlee on (01236) 638463.
Within the main exhibition hall there are also toilets (including baby-changing and special access), a café and a shop with a range of heritage-themed gifts, toys and books.
The museum is open 10am to 5pm from 1 April to 31 October, then to 4pm until the end of March.
For more information, visit the website