Sunday, 22 April 2012

Blists Hill

The Blists Hill Open Air Museum or the Blists Hill Victorian Town as it is now called, first opened to the public in 1973. A collection of buildings, it was never originally designed to be a Victorian Town. However, this is what it has become after growing steadily in size since its inception.

Visitors will see buildings that were part of the existing industrial site which is now occupied by the museum. The brickworks are an example of what would have been present here before the museum was created.

The rest of the buildings are either adapted by re using the existing material or from replicating buildings that are or were standing elsewhere. There are also some buildings that have been relocated such as the New Inn Public House which was originally in Walsall.

Similar in some ways to the Black Country Museum near Dudley, the buildings are manned by staff in period costume which gives a much more realistic authenticity to the town. The fires are kept burning in houses, sweets are served in the shops and printshops and workshops are often being used and in full production as they might have been all those years ago.

The visitor really does feel that considerable effort has been made to create the right environment. From banks to steam engines, fairgrounds to old school houses, this is definately one not to miss.

Within close proximity of Ironbridge and other museums, the Blists Hill is operated by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and effectively creates the real atmosphere of a Victorian Shropshire town.

At the time of writing the Blists Hill Victorian Town is experiencing a massive development which will see a new Visitor Centre, inclined lift and narrow guage railway. Most of this should be complete by the end of the summer 2009.

Further information can be found at:

Legges Way, Madeley, Telford, Shropshire, TF7 5DU. Tel: 01952 884391

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