There are plenty of ways to get involved with the history and archaeology of the West Midlands. Why not visit a museum or join an archaeological society?
Portable Antiquities Scheme finds can be seen on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Herbert museum and Art Gallery in Coventry. There are many more museums to explore around the county (click on the museum name to be taken directly to the website for details about collections and opening times).
Explore the splendour of one of the last great houses built in the Jacobean style.
Displays include locally made enamels, japanned ware, jewellery, toys, dolls and Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
Alongside the fine art The Barber Institute is home to one of the finest collections of Roman, Byzantine, Sasanian, medieval Islamic, and medieval and modern Hungarian coins in the world, numbering around 16,000 items. Appointments must be made in advance to access the coin study room.
Step back in time at Birmingham’s last surviving court of back to backs. Visits to the Birmingham Back to Backs are by guided tours only. Booking prior to visit is essential.
World class museum in the heart of Birmingham city centre, including a gallery dedicated to the Staffordshire Hoard.
This attraction is one of the finest and largest open-air museums in the United Kingdom. Here you can experience the first industrial landscape created anywhere in the world. You can take a tram ride, listen to stories, play a game, each house, shop and workshop has been filled with collections, from sad irons to nails, that would have been seen in situ from the 1800s to 1940s.
Discover a fine Tudor house and beautiful gardens just a few miles from the heart of the city.
The museum has original working machinery which once operated on a day-to-day basis, producing some of the world’s finest coffin furniture, including the fittings for the funerals of Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother.
On the night of 14 November 1940, the city of Coventry was devastated by bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe. The Cathedral burned with the city, having been hit by several incendiary devices. The Cathedral was subsequently rebuilt and you can now visit both the shell of the old and the new as they stand side by side.
The motte and bailey construction of Dudley Castle was completed in 1070 by Ansculf de Picquigny (northern France). He was succeeded by the Paganel family during the 12th century who became Lords of Dudley.
Haden Hill House Museum in Cradley Heath is a Victorian gentleman’s residence furnished in period style, surrounded by 55 acres of award winning parkland. The house also holds a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
From rocks and fossils to volcanoes, earthquakes, and dinosaurs. Visit this museum on the Birmingham University campus which is free of charge.
Explore this partially-reconstructed timber fort near Coventry.
Find out about the dramatic story of King Charles II hiding from Cromwell’s troops at Moseley Old Hall after he fled the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
See the bed on which the King slept and the priest hole in which he hid, and hear fascinating stories about what life was like in the 17th-century from our tour guides and costume interpreters.
A perfectly preserved workshop in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Oak House in West Bromwich is a half-timbered yeoman farmer’s house built circa AD 1630.
A 250 year old working watermill famous for its association with author J.R.R Tolkien.
Georgian home of the Birmingham industrialist, Matthew Boulton.
Award-winning science museum for fun-packed family days out.
Walsall leather Museum
Discover why Walsall became the British leather goods capital in this fascinating working museum, housed in a restored leather factory. Admission to the Museum is free. Address: Littleton Street West
Walsall, WS2 8EW. Telephone. 01922 652288.
A purpose built Victorian Art Gallery, housing collections which include fine art paintings, applied art, old toys as well as one of the world’s largest collections of Ruskin pottery.
The ruins of an exquisite fortified manor house built 750 years ago.
Step back in time and visit the ever-changing family home that was built in the Victorian Period and decorated with the designs of William Morris and his Arts and Crafts contemporaries.
Societies & Organisations
The Society aims to support and raise the profile of the regions archaeological heritage, providing a monthly lecture series, annual transactions and many other benefits to members.
Since 1931, the Association of Friends has supported Birmingham Museums Trust by raising money to help finance BMT’s acquisitions. Some Members also volunteer their services as researchers, cataloguers and administrators (to name but a few) on a range of BMT projects.
The Group is established to pursue the following objects in the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands:-
- to advance the education of the public in archaeology;
- to advance and assist research;
- to provide a framework for communication and discussion, and be a vehicle for representation to the wider community and to the CBA of any consensus which emerges;
- to provide information;
- to encourage widespread participation in archaeology throughout society.