The Avoncroft Museum
December 2, 2019
Many historical or old buildings get demolished because they are not protected. It’s a good thing that some of them get saved and restored for future generations to still be able to experience them. This is what visitors to the Avoncroft Museum can expect, specifically 700 years of history in buildings and other items carefully restored and presented.
The museum opened its doors in 1967, after a wave of demolition of old buildings in Britain. Many of them from Wales and the English Midlands found their way to the museum to be saved for years to come. Nowadays, this odd collection seems random but they allow today’s visitors to explore how buildings were built and how they look like centuries before.
What To See
In the 19 acres of land the museum occupies, there are 30 exhibits in all, other than just the restored buildings. There is also a 19th Century windmill, a prefab house from post-World War II, a cell block, a highway toll house, an 18th-century outdoor toilet, and even a cockfighting pit. They also have an interesting church spire made of fiberglass. A Medieval Townhouse is one of the highlights, being one of the oldest structures in the museum.
The museum celebrates the industrial heritage of the Midlands, through the 100-year forge and the 19th-century chain-making shop among its exhibits. Other interesting exhibits include a brick display.
One of the more popular collections is the British National Telephone Kiosk Collection, where visitors can see these iconic structures. They have the earliest cast iron red phone booths from 1912 all the way to the last units made of glass installed in the 90s. Doctor Who fans will love being able to inside their own Tardis!
Other Features and Amenities
The Avoncroft Museum is an award-winning museum, thanks to its Edwardian Tea Rooms that serve dishes with produce coming from the grounds itself. During the warm, summer days, visitors can explore the orchard on the grounds that have traditional varieties of perry pears and cider apples. It also has a picnic area and a meadow full of wildflowers.
They also have a children’s play area and a free carpark for visitors. On some days, a miniature railway is open for kids, but it is best to call ahead and check if it is open on the day you visit.
Dogs on a lead are welcome, and while some older buildings have no lifts, the museum is quite family-friendly.
The museum hosts various events throughout the year, like open-air Shakespeare and even lessons in blacksmithing (in a real forge!). Historical reenactments and fun family days are also planned throughout the year. For a calendar of activities, you can check their website.
The location is also quite picturesque and it is easily accessible. A train from Birmingham stops at Bromsgrove and the museum is a bit over a mile away from the train station.
Kids and adults alike will appreciate a lesson in history when it is seen, touched, heard or experienced as opposed to just read in a book. The Avoncroft Museum aims to give its visitors a unique hands-on experience that will educate future generations on the country’s interesting past.