Nottingham Industrial Museum

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Steam engine in Wollaton Park Industrial Museum

Nottingham Industrial Museum[1] is located in the 17th century stables block of Wollaton Hall. The museum won the Nottinghamshire Heritage Site of the Year Award 2012.[2] The Museum collection closed in 2009, but has since reopened to the public as a volunteer-run organisation on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. There is a small charge for entry.

The museum contains a display of textile, transport, telecommunications, mining and engineering technology from Nottingham's past, a fully operational analogue telephone network; a display of cycles, motor cycles and motor cars linked to the city; and examples of significant lace-making machinery – which put Nottingham on the textile map.

It also houses an operational Basford Beam Engine, steamings are held on some Sundays, usually the last Sunday of the month.


The museum has display's relating to five areas of Nottingham industry, Textiles, Transport, Communication, Mining and Steam, each investigating Nottingham’s rich industrial heritage.


Learn about the lives of the men, women and children employed in the factories, the machines they used and what they produced. the very people and machines that helped make Nottingham the 'lacecapital of the world'[3]


Enjoy imagining ir reminiscing about how we used to travel with our restored Raleigh bicycles and Brough motorbikes (including George Brough's own trails motorcycle, made in sheffield)

See the 17th-century Baskerville coach, the Brough superior car, the mysterious Celer car and Thomas Humbers own bicycle! [4]


Learn about how Nottingham changed the communications industry, and how the communications industry changed the daily lives of Nottingham people.

See and hear the restored vintage radio's and gramophones, dating back to the 1920s, and tap your own morse code message on our telegraph systems.[5]


Outside is displayed a large wooden Ginn Wheel. This horse ginn was removed from a local collery and had been used for bringing coal to the surface in mines with short pit shafts. It is reputed to be one of only a handful remaining today.

Behind it is a coal truck from Clifton Collery from the days when this mine was providing most of the coal for the nearby Wilford Power Station which used to be situated on the site of what is now the Riverside Retail Park.

Nearby is situated the recently restored living van. These were towed behind steam engines and steam rollers and provided accommodation for workers and their families whilst working on farms or road works. There are usually a number of tractors to be found in the tractor yard and these will be seen working during our Working Open Days.[6]


The Steam Gallery contains the impressive Basford Beam Engine. This is one of a pair of engines built in 1858 by R. W. Hawthorn in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was installed at Basford Pumping Station to lift water 110 ft from the sandstone below to supply fresh water to the City of Nottingham. The engine was replaced in 1965 and was removed to the purpose built Steam Gallery where it was first fired in 1975.

Also to be found in this building today are a large variety of pumps and engines many of which were removed from local companies.

At the bottom end of the gallery stand two impressive ploughing engines. These have consecutive registration numbers and were the last two production engines to come out of Fowlers Leeds Foundry. They were the property of Nottingham City Council and worked, ploughing in the treated sewage, at the large dairy farm at Stoke Bardolph.

Also in this gallery is the telephone exchange. This is a small example of an automatic exchange and visitors like to use the adjacent telephones to dial each other and watch the components within the exchange as they whirr round to make the connections. In the many cabinets surrounding this gallery are to be found items relating to mining, transport and steam in general.[7]