About Us

The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum is an independent museum which exists to preserve and interpret everything to do with the Purbeck extractive industries, especially those associated with the Swanage Railway branch line. At the moment the focus is on the Purbeck ball clay industry. The PMMM is housed in one of the last underground mine buildings which worked in Purbeck. The collections include mining equipment, as well as images and artifacts of all aspects of associated social and economic history including narrow gauge railways. However the Museum is also interested in the history of shale and shale gas, Purbeck limestones, other clays, chalk, other aggregates and oil. The museum was officially opened by Antiques Roadshow’s Paul Atterbury and MP Richard Drax in 2014.

The Museum has been created almost entirely by volunteers. Working as part of the Swanage Railway Trust, we are part of a registered charity, and contribute to its charitable aims of preserving aspects of railway related heritage and providing educational opportunities. The Museum was created over 10 years, with funding help from Chalk and Cheese, and is run by volunteers. The PMMM Group runs the Museum through a volunteer management committee, chaired by Peter Sills, and report to the Museum & Education Delivery Group of the Swanage Railway Trust. The committee are assisted and advised on curatorial matters by Vicky de Wit, Museums advisor for Dorset.

As part of an independent educational charity, we do not get government financial support, so we rely on visitors, local businesses and members to support our work. You can help us too, through individual donations, sponsoring events and, when the time comes, remembering the Museum by making a legacy or bequest.