Primary School

Year 5’s Killhope Experience

In the autumn term children in year 5 have been learning about Victorians at Killhope as part of their topic. To experience what it may have been like to live and work in Victorian times the class visited Killhope Lead Mining Museum to have hands on experience. The children put on their Wellington boots, hard hats and were given a lamp in preparation for their trip down the mine. The children gained a powerful impression of what working deep underground was like. They discovered that it was the job of boys – often as young as nine or ten years old – to separate the precious galena (lead ore) from all the other material that was hauled out of the mine. They worked long hours, in often, filthy weather conditions. They weren’t always able to go home after a shift so they stayed in very basic lodgings. The filth, stench and often overcrowded conditions must have been intolerable. They brought their own provisions from home and cooked on an open peat fire. Year 5 even had the opportunity to dress as they would have done as well as getting wet and slightly muddy separating the mines material!

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