Forge Mill Needle Museum
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The last surviving needle scouring mill in the world.
Redditch once produced 90% of the world's needles, an extraordinary statistic, and the museum shows how the trade was carried out in Victorian times. See how needles were shaped, hardened, and polished and learn about the extraordinarily difficult conditions faced by the mill workers.
The mill - the only surviving scouring mill in the world - was used to scour (polish) the needles, and has been restored to show exactly how the polishng was carried out over 150 years ago. Much of the water-powered machinery is original, and visitors can see it working on Tuesday afternoons and weekends.
There is also a regular programme of special exhibits, including local history, crafts, and the arts, with a special focus on modern textiles.
The museum is located beside the remains of Bordesley Abbey, a 12th century Cistercian monastery founded by Waleran de Beaumont, Count of Meulan for monks from Garendon Abbey in Leicestershire. The abbey is ruinous, but the ruins are said to be haunted by the ghost of the 10th Earl of Warwick, Guy de Beauchamp, known as the Black Dog of Ardennes. The visitor centre displays artefacts found during excavation of the abbey ruins.
About Forge Mill Needle Museum
Address: Needle Mill Lane, Riverside, Redditch, Worcestershire, England, B98 8HY
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: Off the M42 at J2. Take the 2nd exit, signed Riverside. Free car parking.
Website: Forge Mill Needle Museum
Phone: 01527 62509
Photo Credit: Penny Mayes, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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