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Summerlee Heritage Park

The Summerlee Heritage park is a museum of social and Industrial history.

 "The aim of the Museum is to preserve and interpret the history of the local Iron, Steel, Coal and engineering industries and of the communities that depended on them for a living"

 
Summerlee is set in 22 acres based around the site of the nineteenth century Summerlee Ironworks.

The museum has many attractions for all the family including Scotland's only electric tramway and recreated mine and miners' cottages and playpark and lots lots more.   Admission is free.

Facilities

The great facilities at Summerlee include:

  • Superb new exhibition hall with interactive displays
  • Scotland's only working electric tramway
  • Underground mine and miners' cottages from 1840 to 1960
  • Great playpark for tots to teens
  • Caf and shop.
  • Free parking.

A Brief History 

Summerlee was formerly one of Scotland's most important ironworks and the remains of its blast furnaces and other buildings can be seen from the view pod and parapet at the north-east side of the main exhibition hall.

Opened in 1836, it used the newly discovered 'hot blast' process. This was a process, patented by James Beaumont Neilson (the younger brother of Summerlee's founder John Neilson), that blew the hot gasses of the production process through the furnaces.

This made the smelting process much more efficient and led to Coatbridge becoming known as the 'Iron Burgh' of Scotland by the 1850s. However, the rise of the steel indusry in the later part of the 19th Century saw iron's decline.

Although heavy industry continued in Coatbridge for many years, strikes and economic depression in the 1920s saw Summerlee's furnaces go out for the last time in 1926. In the late 1930s, the site demolished and the remains of the ironworks were covered over.

Post-war, light engineering companies operated on the site, the last being the Hydrocon Crane Company, whose engineering shed forms today's main exhibition hall - complete with overhead cranes still in place!

The museum you see today was initially opened in 1987 and many attractions such as the tramway, mine, miners' cottages and playpark have been added since.

The latest change has been to the main exhibition hall, now totally redeveloped thanks to a major Heritage Lottery Fund supported investment project. 

Location

Heritage Way
Coatbridge
ML5 1QD

Contact and Booking

Telephone: 01236 638460  Fax: 01236 638454

Monday - Sunday 10am - 5pm (4pm November - March)
Admission is Free

 

As the history of the Monklands is inextricably linked with the Industrial Revolution, it was deemed appropriate that the heart of Coatbridge, "The Iron Burgh" should be the site of Scotland's most exciting museum project. Summerlee Heritage Trust is a major museum on a once derelict 25-acre site on the banks of the Monkland Canal, centred on the archaeological excavations of the Summerlee Iron Works.

The park is designed around the archaeological remains of the Summerlee Ironworks which emerged from under six metres of slag and industrial waste.
Summerlee Ironworks
was put into blast in 1835.  It was served by a branch of the Monklands canal which has now been restored.  Howes Basin - built for shipping coal from the railway to the canal - has been uncovered.

Tramway
Summerlee operates an electric tramway on over half a kilometre of track..  A number of trams are operational on a daily basis including one from Austria and one from Belgium.  An open topped Lanarkshire Tram was first unveiled to the general public in 1995. Many of the trams are both driven and restored by the Summerlee Transport Group.   The only reconstruction that is missing is the 1950's conductress shouting "Come oan - Git aff".
Summerlee Trams

Mines and Miners Row
Local mines once fired the furnaces of ironworks such as Summerlee.  A small mine has been re-created where you can experience the miner's dark, damo and cramped  working conditions as they battled to win a day's pay for their families.  The nearby row of miners cottages shows a little of how they lived.  They take you from the basic living conditions of the 1860's to the relative comforts of the 1960's.

ALL ENQUIRIES to:

Summerlee Heritage Park
Heritage Way
Coatbridge ML5 1QD
Tel : 
01236 638460
Click on Summerlee Heritage Park for a local map


We have also added directions from Glasgow and Stirling - 

From Glasgow take M8
Continue straight ahead onto COATBRIDGE ROAD
Continue straight ahead onto GLASGOW ROAD
Bear left onto BANK STREET
Bear left onto A89
Turn left onto WEST CANAL STREET
Turn right onto HERITAGE WAY
Continue straight ahead onto HERITAGE VIEW
Arrive at Summerlee Heritage Park
 
From Stirling area - straight ahead onto M80
Straight ahead onto A80
Bear right onto M80
Bear left onto A73

After STAND village - Bear right onto COATBRIDGE ROAD B803

Continue via WAVERLEY STREET and BURNBANK STREET

Continue straight ahead onto SUNNYSIDE ROAD

Bear left on SUNNYSIDE ROAD

At COATBRIDGE FOUNTAIN bear right onto WEST CANAL STREET

Turn right onto HERITAGE WAY

Continue straight ahead onto HERITAGE VIEW
Arrive at Summerlee Heritage Park

ALL ENQUIRIES to:  Summerlee Heritage Park   01236 638460

 

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