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The Black Country Living Museum Review

The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing the industrial heritage and everyday life of the region. Set across 26 acres, visitors are transported back in time to experience life in the 19th and mid-20th centuries.

Visitors can wander through the cobbled streets, lined with authentic shops, houses, and industrial buildings, all preserved or reconstructed. From the bustling workshops of skilled craftsmen to the clangorous iron foundries and coal mines, every corner of the museum resonates with the echoes of a bustling industrial past.

What's at The Black Country Living Museum?

Explore our favourite highlights at The Black Country Living Museum, where history comes alive in vibrant detail.

1940s-1960s High Street

The 1940s-1960s high street at The Black Country Living Museum

The 1940s-1960s high street at The Black Country Living Museum is one of its newest additions. As you walk down the street, you're transported back into the mid-20th century with authentic shops, pubs, and homes. You can immerse yourself in the nostalgia of the 1950s at Stanton’s Music Shop, where you can listen to vintage vinyl records, indulge in the flavors of yesteryear at Burgin’s Newsagents, where memories of bygone treats come to life, savour a taste of the past with pork baps at the 1950s Marsh & Baxter eatery, and step into Laurie Thomas Hairdressers and admire the fashionable styles of the day.

The attention to detail is remarkable, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and even smells of this bygone era. From the quaint charm of the corner shop to the lively atmosphere of the Elephant and Castle pub, every aspect is meticulously recreated.

Spring Hill Post Office on the brand-new 1940-1960s High Street at The Black Country Living Museum

Lea Road Infant Welfare Centre

Enter the faithful reconstruction of the Lea Road Infant Welfare Centre and delve into the care provided to new and expectant mothers during the early 1960s. Navigate through the main hall, dispensary, and doctor’s office to uncover insights into the establishment of the National Health Service and the influence of migration on healthcare.

Here you can also engage in informative mothercraft classes, where you'll learn about the era's treatments and medicines and encounter familiar tastes of yesteryear, including Farley’s Rusks and cod liver oil.

Lea Road Infant Welfare Centre - Black Country Living Museum Review

Cast Iron Houses

Transport yourself through time as you journey back two decades within the new Cast Iron Houses at The Black Country Living Museum. From the austerity of 1940s Britain to the exuberance of a nation enthralled by football fever in the 1960s, these houses offer a captivating glimpse into the past.

1940s House at The Black Country Living Museum

In the 1940 house, visitors are immersed in the everyday life of wartime Dudley, where the echoes of bombing raids reverberate across the Black Country. Meet the new characters, including Beatrice Vernon, who, alongside her husband Sgt Sidney Vernon, made Dudley their home in 1920.

Meanwhile, the 1968 house provides a snapshot of the Aston family's life, as they settled into one of the cast iron houses on Birmingham Road. Explore bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms adorned with familiar brands, objects, and football paraphernalia. These semi-detached council houses, originally erected in the Brewery Fields Estate in 1925, were a testament to innovative construction during a time of material scarcity.

1960s Cast Iron Council House at the Black Country Living Museum

Boat Dock

Stroll along the tranquil canal side and witness the importance of waterways in the industrial landscape of the Black Country. From narrowboats to historic buildings lining the water's edge, this area offers a serene contrast to the bustling streets and workshops of the museum.

This area of the museum was a popular filming location for the very popular Peaky Blinders.

Peaky Blinders filming location at the Black Country Living Museum's boat dock

Vintage Fairground

Experience the magic and nostalgia at the vintage fairground within The Black Country Living Museum. Step back in time as you try your hand at traditional games and indulge in the thrill of vintage rides such as the Super Sonic Jets and the Chairoplane.

Vintage Fairground Rides at The Black Country Living Museum

Underground Mine Experience

Descend into the depths of history in the underground drift mine and listen to 'Elija Wedge' as he regales you with tales of life as an 1850s Black Country coal miner. Learn firsthand about the operation of the mines, the ingenious use of timber props to support the roofs, and face the harsh realities of a coal miner’s existence, particularly for 'little Billy', who toiled in the depths from the tender age of 10.

Victorian School

At the Victorian school, you will be transported to an era where discipline and learning were paramount. From the strict yet dedicated teacher to the rows of wooden desks and inkwells, every detail has been faithfully recreated to evoke the atmosphere of a Victorian school day. Through interactive demonstrations, visitors can gain firsthand insights into the educational practices of the time.

Victorian School - Black Country Living Museum Review

Hobbs and Sons Fish & Chip Shop

At Hobbs and Sons Fish & Chip Shop, visitors can savour the timeless delight of traditional British fish and chips, featuring 1930s recipe chips cooked in beef dripping. The use of beef dripping adds a rich, savoury flavor, and a crispy exterior while maintaining a fluffy interior.

Traditional Beef Dripping Chips from Hobbs and Sons Fish & Chip Shop

Vintage Red Bus

Step aboard the Vintage Bus at The Black Country Living Museum and embark on a nostalgic journey through time. With its charming retro design and period features, the Vintage Bus offers visitors a unique way to explore the museum's expansive grounds. As you take your seat on the plush, upholstered benches, you'll feel transported back to a bygone era of travel. Listen to the gentle hum of the engine as it carries you along picturesque streets lined with historic buildings and bustling shops.

The Vintage Red Bus at The Black Country Living Museum

What Else is at The Black Country Living Museum?

There are lots more buildings and areas of the museum to explore other than those highlighted above. These are:

  • Bradburn & Wedge Motor Garage

  • Toll House

  • Pitt's Cottage

  • Lench's Oliver Shop

  • Folkes Park

  • The Conway Garage

  • Halesowen and Hasbury Co-op

  • The Worker's Institute

  • Elephant & Castle Pub

  • A. Preedy & Sons Tobacconists

  • A. Hartill Motorcycles

  • T. Cook's Sweetshop

  • Veal's Baker's Shop

  • The Village Fried Fish Shop

  • Adey's Greengrocer's Shop

  • Emile Doo's Chemist Shop & Physic Garden

  • Bottle & Glass Inn

  • Limelight Cinema

  • The Back-to-Backs

  • Chain Making Shop

  • And more!

What I love about The Black Country Living Museum

I love the museum's remarkable ability to transport visitors back in time, immersing them in the sights, sounds, and stories of a bygone era. From the bustling streets of the Victorian town to the clattering workshops of the industrial revolution, every corner of the museum is steeped in history and alive with activity.

I particularly enjoy the attention to detail in the exhibits, from the authentic period costumes to the meticulously recreated buildings and artifacts. Whether it's exploring the underground coal mine, experiencing the nostalgia of the vintage fairground, or stepping into the Victorian schoolroom, there's always something new and fascinating to discover when you visit the museum. The dedication of the staff and volunteers to preserving and sharing the heritage of the Black Country is evident in every aspect of the museum, making it a truly enriching and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.


What is The Black Country Living Museum?

The Black Country Living Museum is an open-air museum located in Dudley, West Midlands, England. It offers visitors a chance to experience life in the Black Country during the 19th and 20th centuries.

What can I see at The Black Country Living Museum?

Visitors can explore reconstructed historic buildings, industrial workshops, a coal mine, a Victorian school, vintage fairground rides, and much more. The museum aims to recreate the sights, sounds, and experiences of life in the Black Country from the late 18th to the mid-20th century.

How do I get to The Black Country Living Museum?

The museum is easily accessible by car, bus, or train. It is located off the A4037 road and has ample parking available. Dudley Port railway station is the nearest train station, and there are also bus stops nearby.

Address: Discovery Way, Dudley DY1 4AL.

How much does it cost to visit The Black Country Living Museum?

General admission tickets cost £25.95 per adult and £12.95 per child (3-15 years). Family tickets are also available. And don't forget: If you pay for one day, you can get a whole 12 months of unlimited daytime entry (UnChained Annual Pass) – for absolutely no extra cost!

The Black Country Living Museum also hosts popular events throughout the year including the Peaky Blinder Nights, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s evenings, Halloween Nights, and Christmas events. These are charged separately. Please see the museum's website for more details.

Are there any discounts available for tickets?

The museum offers discounted admission for seniors, students, and families. You can also use Tesco Clubcard vouchers towards the cost of admission to the Black Country Museum. But if you use Tesco Clubcard vouchers, you will not be able to take advantage of the UnChained Annual Pass.


Disclaimer: We were gifted tickets to visit The Black Country Living Museum but all views are my own.

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