About Us

The Purbeck Mining Museum is an independent museum which exists to preserve and interpret everything to do with the Purbeck Ball Clay industry and its association with the Swanage Railway branch line.  The Mining Museum is housed in the last underground mine building that worked in Purbeck. The collections include mining equipment, as well as images and artefacts of all aspects of associated social and economic history including narrow gauge railways.  The museum was officially opened by Antiques Roadshow’s Paul Atterbury and MP Richard Drax in 2014.

The Museum has been created almost entirely by volunteers. Working as part of the Swanage Railway Trust, we are part of a registered charity, and contribute to its charitable aims of preserving aspects of railway related heritage and providing educational opportunities. The Museum has been built and developed over the last 20 years, with capital funding from Chalk and Cheese, and is entirely run by volunteers. The  Museum in managed by a volunteer committee and reports directly to the Swanage Railway Trust. The committee take independent guidance from the Museums Adviser for Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole.

As part of an independent educational charity, we do not get government financial support, so we rely on visitors, local businesses and members to support our work. You can help us too, through individual donations, sponsoring events and, when the time comes, remembering the Museum by making a legacy or bequest.

You can also help with donations by signing up to Easyfundraising https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/purbeckmineralsminingmuseum . If you name Purbeck Mining Museum as your cause, Easyfundraising will donate part of what you spend to us. It won’t cost you any extra; the cost is covered by the brand.  Easyfundraising partners with over 7,000 brands so there’s a good chance you’ll be shopping with one of them at some point!


Download our leaflet for information about the museum and how to find us.