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Millom owes its existence to rich iron ore deposits.

View a full reconstruction of an actual mining cage from the Hodbarrow mines and be transported back to the origins of the town of Millom.


The iron works in Millom was big business at one time, being one of the busiest iron ore mining areas in Europe during the late 1800s. The ore from Hodbarrow was smelted to produce the iron for export. Almost the whole working population of Millom was employed in the iron mining industry.

There was a great demand for iron products from the shipping and rail industries. Many ships were being built in Millom and Ulverston.

train in Hodbarrow mine

However, by the mid 1960s, mining and iron smelting was over and mass unemployment swept the area. Dole queues were a common sight in the town and the heart of Millom was gone.

These days, smaller, local industries and a growing tourism trade try to compensate, but most people find work out of the town, leaving a rich heritage for the visitor to explore.

The museum has artefacts and information from the 'era of iron' and the impact iron had on the whole area can clearly be seen.

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