"A part of the World Heritage Site Ironbridge Gorge"
Up until the 1940's the main employment opportunities in Jackfield were this factory and that of Maw & Co, both producing tiles and within the numerous brick and roofing tile works. At the end of the second world war the majority of the factories closed down and a landslip in 1950's destroyed many of the houses in the area. Craven Dunnill left the Jackfield works moving to Bridgnorth and the buildings were taken over by a firm making iron and bronze castings.
In 1983 the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust with the help of others purchased the site and since has spent time restoring the buildings and encourage the return of ceramic manufacture. This resulted in 1989 of tile manufacture returning to this building and in 2001 Craven Dunnill returned after 40 years of absence.
Today it operates as a museum, a working site for Craven Dunnill and within new buildings encouraging others to use the space to promote their goods, such as glassware, cermaics, jewellery etc.
Your Museum Visit
You enter the museum in the shop and cafe area, and then as you wander through the original gas-lit trade show room, galleries and period room setting you are able to see, touch and even walk on British made tiles.
Various rooms are set up as galleries showing examples of individual tiles including ones showing mediaeval stories and nursery rhyme scenes in large panels. The style gallery has cabinets full of tile designs including some national collections as well as some ceramics. The Trade Show Room has various panels of tiles on the walls, and in cases showing the various designs and motifs used over the period they were made at this site, as well as physical tiled structures such as tiled fireplace surrounds, and tiled Washstands by Maw & Co and displays of factory mosaic flooring.
There are also period room settings depicting various locations that would have been decorated with tiles. You get to walk through an Edwardian Tube Station, the bar of an Hotel, a children's hospital ward, the butchers shop and a 1930s 'front room'.
Find out how the different varieties were made; encaustic, embossed, dust press and tube-lined. The final exhibit before you end your tour of the main old factory is the Museum Gallery which has large panels both uprights and lengths of various tile designs and patterns. You end your visit in the Craven Dunnill factory where on certain days you can see it in operation.
Allow 1-2 hours for your visit. As well as the Museum itself there is also a small group of specialist shops offering items such as glassware, ceramics, bike hire and more for you to take a look at before returning to your car.
The Annual Passport. The Ironbridge Museums operate an Annual Ticket and Passport where for one price you can get access to all 10 of their sites with unlimited day time access during normal opening hours, so you can return as often as you like for a whole year. If after 12 months you have still not visited particular sites, you can return at any time in the future to make one free visit to the sites that you've missed. These tickets are sold at all the museums and the visitor information centre in Ironbridge itself or you can buy them in advance by phone. The 2009 prices for the Passport tickets are:
Adult £19.95; 60+ £15.95; Child £12.95 or a family ticket for 2A up to 3C £54.95.
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