Opened in the 1870s, Threlkeld Quarry supplied railway ballast to the Penrith-Keswick line. By 1894, they were delivering 80,000 tonnes across the north-west from Manchester to Carlisle. The granite harvested from Threlkeld Quarry was used on roads and railways as it was not suitable for decorative treatment. The quarry closed in 1937 but modernised and reopened just over a decade later. In 1982, the quarry was finally closed for good and in 1992 Lakeland Mines and Quarries Trust petitioned to take the site. After a lot of work to stabilise and renovate the property, Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum opened and now visitors can explore the quarry and learn about the history of mining in Cumbria.

Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum invites visitors to explore how granite mining progressed from blasting stone off of quarries with gun powder to more modern techniques. The museum also has a functioning rail line that can take visitors into the quarry so they can safely view the scale of production at Threlkeld on original railway machines.

Things to see and do:

  • Examine artifacts and records from local mines that sought a range of materials from copper, iron, zinc and tungsten.
  • The Quarry Room explores the geology of the Lake District with genuine samples from neighbouring mines.
  • The Quarry Site displays vintage excavators and quarrying machinery!
  • Ride Sir Tom, a 1926 steam locomotive, or one of two other machines into the quarry to see the mined faces for yourself!
  • A shop containing a range of souvenirs and books.


The museum is wheelchair accessible and there is a ramp into the guard carriage for visiting the quarry by train. There is not currently an accessible bathroom.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

For more information on visiting please click here.

To visit another museum in the Lake District, see here.

Q Is the museum dog friendly?

Yes, well-behaved dogs are welcome.

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  • Monday09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Tuesday09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Wednesday09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Thursday09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Friday09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
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