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Beamish Museum unveils new Lamp Cabin thanks to Purcell Miller Tritton


Beamish, the world famous open air museum in the North East, will open its latest exhibit to visitors on Saturday, 28th March following an exclusive VIP preview on 26th March. The opening will see the unveiling of a new £1m Colliery Lamp Cabin which complements the existing recreated 1913 Colliery Village, a centrepiece of the museum. The new addition has been painstakingly designed and constructed by leading architect and historic building consultant, Purcell Miller Tritton (PMT) in conjunction with Beamish experts.

PMT was commissioned by the museum in 2006 to design a new replica lamp building for the Colliery which sits in a 300 acre site in County Durham and recreates mining conditions as they were before the start of the First World War. The new building is divided into three areas; traditional spaces where costumed staff will re-enact the miner’s story, the exhibition area and the staff area and public toilets.

The building was constructed using traditional methods which meant the team were denied the use of cranes on the site to lift the timber trusses. Hence vital supports had to be designed with this in mind and the king post truss which is at the centre of the building’s frame had to be assembled piece by piece, like a jigsaw, on site. On view in the completed exhibition area are some of the museum's important collection of miners’ lamps alongside displays of rescue equipment and mining tools dating from the mid 18th century up to the late 20th century. The Lamp Room is furnished just as it would have been in 1913 and here visitors will see how the lamps were cleaned, maintained and lit.

The VIP day which will take place on 26th March is by invitation only and will be an opportunity for partners, supporters and media to be introduced to the project, and take a tour of the Lamp Cabin. On Saturday 28th March miners from across the region are invited to officially open the new building, when there will also be a procession to the colliery involving a band, banners, local schools and community groups.

Commenting on the project, Amanda Needham, project leader for Purcell Miller Tritton said “We are delighted to have been involved in this unique project for Beamish. The Colliery was noticeably incomplete without a Lamp Cabin for visitors to experience, and now guests will be able to move through the cabin before entering the drift mine. This impressive period building will greatly enhance people’s understanding of this chapter in the region’s industrial heritage.”

Email: Samantha@barlowcomms.co.uk


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