Quality Hotel Dudley
Dudley, EN DY1 4RN
Phone: (44) 1384 458070
Fax: (44) 1384 457502
Birmingham Road, Dudley, EN, GB, DY1 4RN
- Phone: (44) 1384 458070
- Fax: (44) 1384 457502
Arts & Museums
The Black Country is a large industrial area to the north-west of Birmingham and this museum is a reminder of how things used to be here 100 years ago. It comprises many historic buildings, taken down from elsewhere and re-erected to make an authentic town of a century ago. Highlights include an old-fashioned funfair, a narrowboat ride and a trip down a coal mine, light is deliberately kept to the levels that would have been experienced by the miners so it's unsuitable for young children. All children and adults, however, can take a lesson in an 1840s school and tour round a Victorian sweetshop, chemist's, nail-making shop and stables amongst many other exhibits. This is a genuinely interesting living museum and a tour of at least three hours is recommended.
Dudley Museum & Art Gallery boasts of a fine art collection including many noted 19th Century oils, water-colors and prints. It also provides exhibition space for local art groups. The city has produced some fine artists of its own, including Shakespeare; Percy Shakespeare, who has just been the subject of a major retrospective here. Local history is well covered; a history that includes dinosaurs. See website for complete visitation particulars.
Wednesbury is situated in the borough of Sandwell, to the north-west of Birmingham city center. Its museum and art gallery has a fine collection of 19th-century art, much of it bequeathed by local industrialists who made their fortunes in this industrial area. Of particular interest is the collection of Ruskin pottery, which was made at nearby Smethwick on the edge of Birmingham. These beautiful and stylish wares were so-named after the late Victorian writer, historian and art critic John Ruskin.
Bilston Craft Gallery is a single largest exclusive craft gallery in Bilston. At this craft gallery, there is an interactive programme of a series of exhbitions that feature some prominent works of jewelry, glass, ceramics, metal, woodwork, textiles and a lot more. A visit to this craft gallery gives you an opportunity to discover craft as it has evolved over the past 300 years. There are some remarkable historic exhibits of various applied arts created in Black Country, like the renowned Bilston enamels. Bilston Craft Gallery hosts several programmes for different age groups, which include creative workshops, seasonal events and handling objects.
Kingswinford, just to the west of Birmingham, lies within the boundaries of the borough of Dudley - a leading glass making area. This museum is housed in a modern glass-fronted (naturally) building and is devoted to the glassmaker's art. It contains examples from various historical periods and has a strong local emphasis. There is an imaginative programme of temporary exhibitions alongside the museum's permanent displays, including shows of work by leading contemporary glass designers.
Wolverhampton's award-winning gallery, just a few minutes walk from the station, is housed in a fine Victorian building which alone is worth seeing. It contains works by Gainsborough, Zoffany and Landseer, as well as later works by Hockney and Warhol, in galleries devoted to art from the Georgian period up to the present day. Thought-provoking exhibitions are staged here and there is an interactive introduction to contemporary art. There's also a tearoom to relax in after what will be an entertaining tour of one of the Midland's finest galleries.
The 2-story Bantock House is set inside Bantock Park and was built in 1938. This house, today, is home to the exhibit of artifacts belonging to the Bantock family featuring jeweleries, ceramics and furniture.
Built in 2000 on the designs of architect Caruso St John, this terracotta building is home to a modern art gallery. The exhibitions feature pieces from the gallery's permanent collection which comprises a vast collection of the work of Jacob Epstein along with artworks from contemporary and historic artists including masters like Van Gogh and Monet. The gallery also features temporary exhibitions of artwork produced by groups of artists, contemporary artworks and more historic pieces. A unique feature of The New Art Gallery is the interactive learning space that is specially designed to cater to families and children. Other more recent additions to the gallery include a cafe and a public access art library that only add to the list of characteristics that make this gallery special.
This award-winning museum, restored to its original 18th Century appearance, was the former home of the city's industrial pioneer Matthew Boulton. Soho House was often used as a meeting place for the Lunar Society: a group that counted Josiah Wedgwood (famous pottery maker) and Joseph Priestley (discoverer of oxygen) amongst its members. On display are some of the products of Boulton's nearby Soho Manufactory, including buttons and buckles, as well as silver and Sheffield Plate. The Lunar Society was so called because its members met when there was a full moon. This enabled them to see their way home safely in time before street lamps were in common use.
Walsall, to the north of Birmingham, remains the capital of Britain's leather industry. Nearly a hundred companies operate here, making everything from wallets to saddles; the local football team is even known as the Saddlers. The Walsall Leather Museum is housed in a Victorian building that was once a leather goods factory, and tells the story of how and why the industry developed here. There is a shop and cafe on site.
The jewellery industry developed in Birmingham from the mid-19th Century. The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is an award-winning working museum which offers a guided tour around a real jewelry factory, showing you all the different aspects of jewelry in the 19th Century and also highlighting the work of new designers. There is a tea room, in case you need refreshments, plus a shop from which you can purchase souvenirs, books and jewelry. If English is not your mother tongue, then you can will find guided tours on tape in French, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish and German.
United Kingdom's only museum dedicated to educating visitors about the pen manufacturing industry, The Pen Museum offers a glimpse into the history of this industry. A visit to The Pen Museum reveals why Birmigham has been the hub of steel pen trade. This museum also offers in-depth information about the workers and employers involved in pen making business and provides abundant information about the various pen brands and companies. Apart from the historical exhibits, this museum also allows visitors to test their writing skills using a steel pen. Also, visitors can try their hand at making their own nib. The Pen Museum also offers classes in calligraphy.