The Weardale Museum


Hotts, Ireshopeburn, Bishop Auckland, DL13 1HD

01388 517433

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Did you know that John Wesley experimented in beer making in his London cellar? Learn about his 13 visits to save the souls of Weardale lead miners and visit High House Chapel the oldest in continuous use.

What Visitors Say

I could spend hours here Lots of interesting things An incredible collection Packed with Interest

Step into our Weardale lead miner's kitchen, just like Granny's house.


Cockroaches don't frighten me.

Can I finish the mat Mum?

Begin in the Weardale Kitchen for a hands on experience of  family life at the end of the lead mining period. Pick up our unusual objects and have fun guessing how they were used. Try your hand at rug making.

boy making clippy mat wesley

Hops or no hops?

That is the question.


Quilting, an art passed down through the generations.

When Amy Emms MBE was asked to make a sampler for the museum she said that she would make a full quilt if we promised not to hide it away. We kept our promise.  Come and enjoy it's full beauty.

Tapestry detail

Our history in needlework.

The Weardale Tapestry displays our history and heritage in five large panels. It was crafted in 2005 by six local ladies who met for coffee, cake,  and conversation,  

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but boys prefer fluorspar.


See our magnificent collection of local minerals and fossils and learn about the miners and quarrymen who collected them.

Gold nuggetts are even better.

Fighting to make a land fit for heroes.

Klondyke Wilkinson

In hard times families uprooted and sought their fortunes elswhere. Klondyke Wilkinson struck lucky but for many it was a struggle. We have many stories of ordinary people with extraordinary tales to tell.

boots tone map

Our poignant display of boots commemorates the 176 Weardale soldiers who gave their lives during the Great War 1914-18. Each of the fallen named and remembered with his own poppy.

ipad Virtual Museum

and there is more

and more

and even more.

We have introduced four interactive touch screen ipads to tell more stories, provide longer captions for some of our objects and show case our images.

With our partners at the AONB we have created a "Virtual Museum" website to view objects which have been lost to the North Pennines. Click here to view the website on your own computer, or try out our touch screen in the Museum.

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Read more about what people say




2 Great books about Weardale

Front Cover for Clearing the Forest Life and Times

These two Books:

Cleariing the Forest by Peter Bowes (£12) and Life and Times in Weardale by Alf Milburn (£5) have been digitally remastered by the Museum and turned into pdfs which you can view on your computer or Ipad.


Contact the Curator for more information

What you can see in the Museum

See Collection on YouTube