Exhibitions – The Pithead Baths Big Pit National Coal Museum

Pithead Baths

The Pithead Baths building houses four exhibition spaces and uses objects and images to tell the story of coal mining in Wales.

Themes include children in the mines, health, home life and the mining communities. See how the life and work of a Miner has changed from 1850 to 2000.

Learn about the Geology and Uses of Coal, Mining Disasters and Rescue, discover the role and impact of Trade Unions and Nationalisation , and get a closer look at some mining memorabilia.

Pithead Baths

Walking through the pithead baths today, it's difficult to imagine the great impact these buildings had on the lives of the miner and his family.

Prior to the introduction of baths, miners had no option but to travel home dirty and wash in a tin bath, in front of the fire or outside in the ‘bailey’ (back yard).

Each miner had a ‘clean’ locker and a ‘dirty’ locker located in different parts of the baths. Leaving his ordinary clothes in the ‘clean locker’, the miner changed into his working clothes ready for his shift underground.

Afterwards the miner left his work clothes in the dirty locker where it would be dried, ready for his next shift, by hot air constantly blowing through the lockers.

There is also a multifunction space serving as an education room, packed lunch room and lecture theatre, housing both temporary and permanent exhibitions. The permanent exhibition deals with the controversial subject of Energy Sustainability.

Pithead Baths

Big Pit's Medical Centre is located next to the Pithead Baths and canteen. After nationalisation in 1947, health and safety procedures improved and proper medical centres were built and attendants appointed.

Most of their hours were spent treating the day-to-day cuts, bruises and strains that miners had suffered. However, at times the attendants had to care for miners who had been seriously injured underground. The voice that you can hear in the medical centre is that of Mrs Phyllis Jones, a former colliery nurse in Cynheidre Colliery.

Information

Map

Blaenafon, Torfaen
Open daily 9.30am–5pm. Last admission 4pm. Underground Tours 10am-3.30pm.

Phone:
(029) 2057 3650

Switchboard (standard rate): 0300 111 2 333

Car parking: £3 per car per day.

» Directions and visitor information

  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.