The visitor centre consists of 2 rooms.
The first is a multi-purpose room for meetings or talks and presentations to small groups.
The second houses our mini-museum, which incorporates our "Metals from Stones" display.
"Metals from Stones" is a geological and metallurgical display to demonstrate how the iron, steel and brass etc. used around the site in steam engines, pumps and structures is made.
The display contains selected geological specimens as well as the metals and alloys arising therefrom. Non-ferrous examples include galena, cassiterite, stibnite, bismuth, bornite, chalcopyrite, malachite, native copper and zincite. Alloys of these are solder, white metal (tin, antimony & copper), bronze and brass. In a separate cabinet is bauxite (a sample from France) and items of aluminium with a description of the smelting process. Also in this display are some semi-precious stones of aluminium silicate such as lapis, turquoise and amazonite (Colorado jade).
Ferrous metal ores are magnetite, haematite, pyrite, clay ironstone (a sample from Cannock Chase and one from Butterley). These are accompanied by examples of limestone, details of blast furnaces, slag and cast and wrought iron etc. Again in a separate cabinet are particulars about steel making with a sample of fluospar (a flux), from the last working mine at Groverake in Weardale, 50 or so railmiles from Middlesbrough. On show also are some samples of rarer ores used in steel alloys eg. vanadinite, rhodochrosite and molybdenite. Some steel objects form part of the display.