“ B1348, Prestonpans,East Lothian. Open 11am to 4pm daily April to October. Admission Free. Tel +44 (0)131 653 2904 „
Prestongrange Pit was the local colliery for the town of Prestonpans near Edinburgh. This pit was originally sunk in 1829 and worked until 1962 when the pit was closed and the site was cleared. At that time the Mining Museum and Scottish Mining Museum Trust took over the area and established Prestongrange Industrial Hertitage Museum. This area has not only been a Colliery, but has also been the site of a pottery, a brewery, a salt works, a brick works and a glass works. The combination of the Colliery, the local clay and a harbour made this area ideal for industry. The coming of the railway saw the demise of the harbour, which later silted up and has now almost totally disappeared apart from one concrete pier. As you drive along the road through Prestonpans the site of the museum is marked by a disused train steam engine on a short length of railway track at the front of the old Colliery pit baths. Entrance to the museum site is free. The museum tells the story of each of these industries in a display area in one of the old Colliery buildings. This building also has a coffee shop and serves a really good cup of filter coffee. When you order a coffee you actually get a filter jug each with enough for two cups of coffee. This building also has a small shop and toilets. You can wander over the Colliery site past the foundations of the demolished circular brick ovens to the old beam engine that pumped the water from the Colliery. The beam engine and engine house are spectacular by the shear size of the structure and the enormous beam itself. When you read the figures of the quantity of water pumped from the mine and the enormous amount of equipment connected to this pump it is quite mind blowing. The whole of the moving structure weighed over 100 tons and could pump water at the rate of 650 gallons of water per minute, from a depth of 766 feet. Beyond the beam engine is the exhibition hall. When we visited the site t he current exhibition was all about space and space travel and was very interesting. There was also a large number of free information sheets available around this hall. I wouldn’t go far out of my way to visit this museum, but if you are passing and have an hour to spare then it is quite interesting to pop in and have a look around.