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NAMHO - the National Association of Mining History Organisations

The Derbyshire Caving Club is a member of NAMHO.  The aims and interests of NAMHO are summarised in the text below which will be found on the NAMHO website at www.namho.org (About Us page).  Details are also provided for the next and subsequent conferences.

About NAMHO  |  Conference details  |  NAMHO handbook


NAMHO was formed in 1979 to act as the national body for mining history in the UK and Ireland.  There are now over 80 member organisations, including societies, museums, firms, etc.


There is no individual membership of NAMHO.  Any bona fide organisation with an interest in mining history can apply to become a Full Member.  Other organisations who do not qualify under the above, but who are interested in the activities of member organisations, can apply to become an Affiliate Member.


Every Full Member nominates a representative and, regardless of size, is entitled to a single vote on the Council which meets twice a year.  Day to day management is carried out by annually elected officers.  Affiliate Members are entitled to attend the Council meetings but have no vote.   NAMHO does not seek to control the activities of its member organisations, only to act on their behalf.


It produces guidelines for those involved in surface or underground industrial archaeology.
External Liaison
It liaises with public and private bodies over matter of preservation and access.  NAMHO prides itself in taking a sensible approach to this since it can take a national overview of the situation.
Internal Liaison
It acts as a means of allowing members to exchange information and ideas. It produces a regular Newssheet for members in which items of national interest are disseminated.
It is consulted over planning applications and site scheduling.  Not only can NAMHO provide archaeological information but also details on the extent and condition of mine workings.  Members of NAMHO have served on government committees dealing with mine databases and methods of making entrances safe.
As the national body, NAMHO is the quickest way of obtaining information on mines in the UK and Ireland.  The individual members of its organisations hold more information on disused mine sites than any library or record office. Any query can be directed very quickly to the appropriate organisation or person.
Many of NAMHO's members are museums and NAMHO encourages the interpretation of mining sites for the public.  This can vary from un-manned sites to full-scale theme parks. NAMHO is glad to advise any new scheme that involves some aspect of mining.
Conferences and Field Meets
Every year it organises a Mining History Conference which nowadays incorporates a field meet.  This is held in different parts of the UK and is hosted by one of the NAMHO member organisations.  It takes place over an extended weekend and events include lectures, seminars and field trips.


NAMHO is the only national body representing the specialised knowledge and skills involved in mining history.  As more ex-mining land is developed, the information on such sites will become very important.  NAMHO will continue to help everyone to enjoy our mining heritage, whilst maintaining a responsible and professional attitude.

To visit the NAMHO website, click HERE

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2022 National Conference

In 2022, the conference is being held in Cleveland in North Yorkshire where jet, iron and other minerals were mined.  The topic is "Industrial Minerals".

The 2012 conference took place in Cheshire hosted by us, the Derbyshire Caving Club and subsequent conferences have been held at:

The DCC special report on the Conference in Cheshire can be downloaded here.

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NAMHO Handbook

Until recently, the NAMHO handbook was a printed book in its fourth edition published in 2006. The handbook is now on line and can be read HERE.

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