Bilston Craft Gallery
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Displays of historic Bilston enamels
HistoryIn 1905 Frederick Harper had a 2 storey brick house built at Bilston, on the site of an early 19th century Regency dwelling called Brueton House. The Harpers were successful lock manufacturers, as the Brueton family had been before them, but they did not have long to enjoy their new home. In 1918 the house was converted for use as a girls' school. When the school moved out in 1930 the house was extended and taken over by the Bilston Art Gallery and Museum. The museum opened in 1937, based around a collection of 100 paintings donated by a former resident of Bilston.
In the 1990s the art collection was transferred to the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and the Bilston Museum was re-launched as a venue for showcasing local arts and crafts.
There is a permanent exhibition called 'Craftsense' which displays objects made by local craftspeople from the 18th century through the present. There are almost 100 pieces of local Bilston enamels, the largest collection in Britain outside the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Other types of objects in the permanent exhibits include glassware and jewellery.
There is also a programme of temporary exhibits showing modern pieces by local artists. A few recent exhibitions have included quilting, home design in post-war Bilston, making contemporary jewellery, and print-making in the style of the 1950s 'New Look'.
There are hands-on learning opportunities for children to create and explore different types of crafts, with audio sound-bites, an IT kiosk, and the chance to handle different types of materials.
Behind the house is a large garden with several large outdoor pieces of sculpture used to create a pleasant place to relax and enjoy art in a natural setting.
The museum is free to enter.
About Bilston Craft Gallery
Address: Mount Pleasant, Bilston, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, WV14 7LU
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: Off the A41. Free parking within 200 yards, and the gallery is just 5 minutes walk from Bilston town centre
Website: Bilston Craft Gallery
Phone: 01902 552507
OS: SO953 967
Photo Credit: Gordon Griffiths, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Wolverhampton Art Gallery - 2.7 miles (Museum)
Black Country Living Museum - 3.2 miles (Museum)
Bantock House and Park - 3.6 miles (Historic House)
Moseley Old Hall - 5 miles (Historic Building)
Wightwick Manor - 5.2 miles (Historic Building)
Chillington Hall - 8.4 miles (Historic House)
Patshull, St Mary's Church - 9.8 miles (Historic Church)
Birmingham Back to Backs - 9.8 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Bilston Craft Gallery:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')
Visitor Information Point
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Tel: 01902 552 055
Fax: 01902 552 053