New Stourbridge Glass Museum to open in 2022
Many years of effort are coming to fruition soon, with the opening of the new Stourbridge Glass Museum (formerly known as the White House Cone Museum of Glass) scheduled for April 2022.
Following the announcement of the closure of Broadfield House Glass Museum (2015), the British Glass Foundation (BGF)* has been working to achieve its vision of creating a new museum to celebrate 400 years of quality glass making in the Dudley, West Midlands, area of the UK.
The aim of the BGF has been to convert the former Grade II listed Stuart Crystal Glassworks site in Wordsley into a world-class visitor attraction for the Glass Quarter, with exhibition and education spaces, a hot glass studio, and a home for the internationally renowned Stourbridge glass collection.
The Stourbridge glass collection numbers over 10,000 glass items, ranging from ancient glass to contemporary glass, glassmaking machinery, equipment, and extensive archive materials.
The collection is hailed by the BGF as “one of the finest world-wide holdings of British and international 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century glass, and includes exceptional examples of cameo glass, the speciality of Stourbridge factories at the end of the 19th century”.
A new website has just been launched for the Stourbridge Glass Museum: https://stourbridgeglassmuseum.org.uk , where you can find out more about the facilities and book two free tours in September 2021.
One is a walking tour of the Glass Quarter, covering the people and companies that put Stourbridge glass on the map (16 September 2021), while the other offers a preview tour of the new Stourbridge Glass Museum before it opens to the public on 9 April 2022 (this tour takes place on 18 September 2021).
Further glass-related information will be added to the website over time, with the aim of making it a major resource for glass enthusiasts and researchers.
Funding for the new Stourbridge Glass Museum has come from many sources. Graham Knowles, BGF chairman, named some when he commented on the project’s progress: “This is fantastic news. After more than 10 years of effort, which would not have been possible without the unflinching support of our sponsors, backers and partners, especially Dudley MBC, European Regional Development Fund, National Heritage Lottery Fund and Complex Development Projects Ltd, we are almost there.
“It is also thanks to you, the public, that we are now touchingly close to achieving our ultimate ambition of finally opening the ‘People’s Museum’ that provides a new home for the internationally renowned Stourbridge glass collection.”
Stourbridge Glass Museum is based at: Stuart Works, High Street, Stourbridge DY8 4FB, UK. (Please note that it is not opening to the public until April 2022.)
* “The British Glass Foundation is an enabling body bringing together all relevant and independent glass and cultural organisations and private individuals, in our common aim to protect and save the glass, archive and technical collections previously held at Broadfield House Glass Museum, and to ensure their future display to the public, access for research and continued growth.”
Image: The entrance to the new Stourbridge Glass Museum. Photo: Daniel Sutton.