Newest Review: ... only costs £7.40 for an adult (discounts for the Over 60s and children available) or can be visited free if you have purchased the Ironb... more
Jackfield Tile Museum (Telford)
Member Name: Essexgirl2006
Jackfield Tile Museum (Telford)
Advantages: Interesting, unusual museum
Disadvantages: Expensive on its own
This unusual museum is on the site of a former tile factory in Ironbridge, and another influential manufacturer was nearby. The museum acknowledges the work these two businesses (Maw & co and Craven Dunnill) did from the early Victorian era till the 1960s when demand declined. Car Parking is outside for a nominal fee. The ticket is re-usable in most other Ironbridge museum car parks for the same day. It is signposted throughout the small town of Ironbridge and from other historical sites in the area so you should have no trouble finding it.
You enter via the shop which shows modern tiles and associated gifts for sale and also has a small coffee shop. To visit this museum only costs £7.40 for an adult (discounts for the Over 60s and children available) or can be visited free if you have purchased the Ironbridge Passport which is £21.95 per adult. We had the passport so just handed it over for checking before proceeding into the museum. there is also a small coffee shop here.
The first part we saw contained a video and photos of a local town that was destroyed by a landslide in the 1950s possibly caused by industry in the area. It is only a small section but quite interesting nonetheless. We then moved on to learn more about the history of the two tile making giants mentioned in my opening paragraph and how the business grew and its contribution to the area and its welfare. Craven Dunnill's factory was an early example of a model factory - where manufacturing and production was organised in a logical and consecutive order to speed efficiency. The business was also an example of how quality goods could still be achieved with the new mass production methods and at affordable prices. Partner Henry Dunnill lobbied for improvements to the living and working conditions in the area as well as building a reading room for his staff and an early profit sharing scheme and there is lots of info on this on the walls written in an accessible style that kept your interest.
The factory also had a showroom on site and we had a chance to see this as well as view the different design styles that were popular at the time. There are also reproductions of some of Craven Dunnill and Maw and Co's finest works that were sold throughout the British Commonwealth as well as typical images of scenes created for butcher shops, hospitals and pubs. They have even created a small London Underground platform.
Visiting in early January was an off-peak time. Come the half term holidays and warmer weather they have events planned aimed at children, giving them the opportunity to decorate tiles. If you visit in the week you can also tour part of the factory and see it in operation, but as we visited on a Sunday this option wasn't available to us.
I think the price to visit on its own was quite expensive, but if you have an interest in history of the era and/or design then I think you will get something out of it. I think we spent about an hour here. Open Daily 10am to 5pm.
Summary: A museum dedicated to tiles
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