. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . .

This page provides a brief introduction to each of our sites, plus details of when they are open, how to find them and how accessible they are for people with limitations on their mobility. Three of our sites are off St George’s Hill and the other two are off Spring Lane, so we have provided separate maps.

Check our diary page for latest information

Hough Mill

Public Openings – 2-5pm Sundays and Monday Bank Holidays April to September.

The mill comprises five floors and has steep steps with handrails on both sides.

Most exhibits in our 200 year old substantially restored flour mill are made from solid timber or ironwork, so feel free to touch and enjoy the texture.

Our Mill guides will be happy to assist visitors in turning the flour dresser and using the hand quern to grind wheat into flour. Children can have fun being weighed on the sack scales!

The Jerry Leakins Railway Room has a model of the top of the Swannington Incline, models of two locomotives and information boards relating to the Leicester and Swannington Railway, plus coal mining in Swannington.

A dramatic sky captured by Bill Pemberton
A great place to visit throughout the year
For the mill to operate the wallower would be raised to mesh with the brakewheel
Children have the freedom to weigh their own sacks
Weigh children on the long arm scales- by Bill Pemberton
Directions to Hough Mill

Address – St George’s Hill, Swannington, LE67 8QW.  The first gate is open and there is a small car parking area along the access road.  All additional gates are open when the mill is open allowing access to parking up at the Mill.

From Peggs Green roundabout on the A512 Ashby to Loughborough Road head south down St George’s Hill and take the second track on the right near the 30mph sign. If you reach the houses, you have missed the entrance. All gates are open during volunteer sessions 9am-1pm Friday mornings, when visitors are welcome to park and walk around the grounds (but be back by 12.30 as sometimes volunteers complete a job and lock up early).

Pedestrian access is via public footpaths from Mill Lane, St George’s Hill, Limby Hall Lane and Moor Lane.

Bus Service – Arriva bus route 29 Leicester to Burton goes through Swannington.  The bus stops on St George’s Hill (Windmill Hill on timetable) then walk along the track to the site and on Loughborough Road (Nottingham Road on timetable) in which case walk along Mill Lane to the mill.

Click on map to enlarge

Gorse Field

Visit our grass heathland with woodland areas, beautiful ponds and numerous hollows that reflect its coal mining past. See the replica gin pit with headstock, gin (stretch up to turn the cable drum), horse and handler statues. Lifting small children on and off the horse is fine as this does not put strain on the statue’s legs, but please avoid climbing on and off as this could damage the horse beyond repair.

A steeply sloping field with uneven grass paths and the hollows from bell pits, gin pits and clay pits, plus a couple of ponds. The kissing gate between Hough Mill and the Gorse Field can be fully opened with a RADAR key.

Please stay healthy by not touching the fungi as some of them are poisonous, as are many other plants. Picking blackberries and elderflowers for personal use is fine.

Our great crested newts are protected by law and should not be touched.

Address as for Hough Mill.

In addition to the two public footpaths through the Gorse Field, visitors may roam the numerous permissive paths that are open 6am to midnight.

Califat Spinney

The spinney contains the former Califat coal mine that shares the same area as the woodland which was replanted 2000-2007.

The spinney has uneven grass paths and undulations arising from its coal mining history.

Former coal mine shafts are fenced and access is prohibited. The mining buildings are also fenced for their (and your) protection, Trust guides take visitors inside during tours in July and September as well as during group visits.

Please stay healthy by not touching the fungi as some of them are poisonous, as are many other plants. Picking blackberries and elderflowers for personal use is fine.

Address as for Hough Mill.

There are not any public footpaths through the Califat Spinney, visitors may roam the numerous permissive paths that are open 6am to midnight.

Swannington Incline

The Incline is the western end of Robert Stephenson’s 1832 Leicester and Swannington Railway. Because of the Thringstone fault a steep inclined plane was constructed, with an engine house at the top to haul the coal trucks up the slope.

There is a flat grass area at the top around the former buildings. The Incline itself is 750 yards (700 metres) of 1:17 slope.

See the outline of the winding engine house, boiler house and the two workers cottages. Also at the top is the Calcutta Pumping Rods Inspection Engine from the former Calcutta Pumping Station – if you climb on it and fall off the iron engine and concrete base provide a very hard and in some cases sharp landing.

Cattle Arch Bridge was the only bridge on the railway where the track went over the bridge
Track from Mantle Lane goods yard was laid near Spring Lane
View from Church Lane Bridge up the Incline towards Potato Lane Bridge
Directions to Swannington Incline

Address Spring Lane, Swannington, LE67 8QR. From Hoo Ash Island on the A511 west of Coalville, proceed north down the hill into Swannington, at the Robin Hood pub turn right and head up Spring Lane, at the top of the hill on the left opposite the Whitwick sign there is limited parking. Please do not obstruct the gate that is used by maintenance volunteers.

Address Church Lane, Swannington, use LE67 5DQ and park in the Church Lane layby near the junction with Foan Hill and Redhill Lane.

Pedestrian access is via the public footpath from Redhill Lane that crosses the Incline then goes through the field to Church Lane. The length of the Incline is a permissive path open 6am to midnight with accesses at Church Lane Bridge and Spring Lane. Horses, motorcycles and bicycles are prohibited. No exit below Church Lane Bridge. There is a dead hedge barrier at the bottom of the Trust’s land, please do not cross into the private land beyond.

Click on map to enlarge

Snibston No 3

The Snibston No 3 coal mine (No 1 was behind what is now the Springboard Centre in Coalville and No 2 is the former Snibston Discovery Park) operated 1850-1880 and 1892-1895. It is now a small woodland with large areas of grass.

This small former coal mine site is flat with grass paths. It is used as a car park for guided walks and events on the Incline.

There is a large black mining wheel with primroses behind it. Please give the red mining wheel a turn when passing. There is a short length of railway track.

Address as for the Incline, Snibston No 3 is on the opposite side of the road to the Incline. Please do not obstruct the gate used by volunteers and for events.

Pedestrian access is via the public footpath. The remainder of the site comprises permissive paths open 6am to midnight.