Sunday, June 02, 2013

Threlkeld Quarry

Threlkeld Quarry near Keswick was formerly a granite quarry which supplied, amongst other things, some of the ballast for what is now the West Coast Main Line over Shap. The quarry was in operation from the 1870s until 1982.

The Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum is quite the visitor attraction these days, especially if you fancy riding on the little narrow guage line that takes visitors up into the quarry itself.

Here the little Hunslett locomotive No 2254, built in Leeds in 1940, runs round at the end of the line.

Driver's assistant! There's more about the railway here. There's even steam on certain days, with Sir Tom!

The museum has the history of the quarry, but also much information about mining and quarrying throughout the Lake District.

Here's the mine entrance.

King Kong?

This is King Kong, aka Ruston Bucyrus 110RB, No 7. Threlkeld is the home to the Vintage Excavators Trust, and all round the site there are old excavators in various states of preservation. Actually, there really needs someone to be in this photo to give a sense of scale.

I had picked the day of my visit recently to coincide with one of the Trust's 'working days', to see these old excavators in action. Fascinating!

In the days before hydraulics, this was the way the countryside was reshaped! This is a Ruston Bucyrus 22RB. Incidentally, as proof you can find anything on YouTube these days, here's a video of this model working in an exotic location on a bright summer's day, complete with sound!

Threlkeld, definitely worth a visit!

Photos © Skip Cottage


  1. Never even heard of it Bob - looks like a great place.
    I hope you have been to the Lead Mining Museum at Wanlockhead - it is a truly worthwhile visit . . it is also worth tarrying a while in Leadhills (hopefully it will be sunny) - my Aunt lived there for a number of years back in the 1970's . .
    When it is sunny, it is beautiful . . but when the clouds close in, boy can it become dreich. The cottages grip the landscape like limpets! I still love the place though, and the mine railway journey from Leadhills to Wanlockhead is really excellent (if a little short . .)

  2. Hi Phil
    You must have missed these posts:
    and here

    Yes, I'm fond of the Wanlockhead and Leadhills. Great places to visit.

  3. Sorry Bob - yes I did miss those - thanks for pointing me in the right direction!