Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rescue and Restoration

Yesterday we spent a few hours wandering around the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings which is situated just on the outskirts of Bromsgrove in Worcestershire.  There are nearly thirty buildings that, since the museum opened in 1967, have been rescued from various locations and rebuilt on the site.

One of my favourites was the Merchant's House from Bromsgrove which was the first  exhibit at the museum and one of  the reasons that it was founded.  After an unsuccessful attempt to stop the merchant's house being demolished the timbers were rescued and stored and eventually reconstructed on the 15 acre site provided by the Fircroft Trust.

The Merchant's House was built in 1558 by the Lylley family.  The entrance leads through the screens passage and into the central hall there are steps up to a second story or solar wing.  Below are a few photos taken around the house.

In complete contrast to the Merchant's House one of my other favourites was the mid 1940s Prefab rescued from Yardley in Birmingham dismantled and moved to the museum in 1980 complete with its period furnishings.

Let's have a look inside!   Everything I saw in here seemed familiar from my childhood in the 1950s.   The sitting room reminded me of many homes I visited as a child as did the kitchen.  My Mum had a green dressing table set similar to the one on display for many years, I remember they were always sitting on crocheted mats and I still have a complete set of the blue encyclopedias and dictionaries that you can see on the bookcase.  My father bought them one by one and my Mum kept them for years and eventually I had them.  They are in a box and I just can't bear to throw them away or give them to a second hand book shop but I'd love them to go into a period room at a museum just like the ones here.  

I loved this little house below.  It is a toll-house built in 1822 by the Upton-on-Severn Turnpike Trust and brought to the museum in 1985.

Once again I've made a collage of some of the features of the building otherwise there would be far too many photos in this post.

There were many wonderful buildings at the Museum, here are just a few......

The corrugated iron clad Mission Church from Bringsty Common in Herefordshire

The 16th century cruck-frame barn from  Cholstrey court Farm near Leominster, Herefordshire

The Victorian windmill from Danzey Green in Warwickshire

The chain making workshop from Cradley Heath in the Black Country and the small Georgian building below.........

Now what could be in here?   You've probably guessed!

It's a three-seater earth closet from Townsed House, Leominster, Herefordshire.

Last but not least here are two Tudor merchant's houses which became and inn called the 'String of Horses' in 1786.  In 1912 the lower floor became the retail premises of the Shrewsbury Co-operative Society.  Inside we spotted the Mad Hatter - he disappeared whilst we ordered tea and cake.  We didn't see him again or Alice or any white rabbits and there certainly wasn't a dormouse in the teapot!  I thought I may have been dreaming but a visit to the Museum's website explains all.

Well a Museum visit of this nature wouldn't be complete with tea and cake would it?
Very tasty it was too! 


  1. I love this place! We visited it back in the late 90's and spent the whole day wandering around. Your pictures bring back great memories.

  2. Another interesting place to add to my list of places to visit. There is an iron clad church near our home, painted pink!

  3. I have always wanted to visit the Avoncroft Museum so its interesting to experience it through your lens Rosie. Great photos, especially the collages.

    Yes indeed, it just has to be tea and cake and quite often we have that before the tour:-)


  4. Such a great idea to rebuild these properties on a dedicated site. A bit like a graveyard for buildings that have outgrown their purpose!!! I am sure I would have loved to have a mooch about the place. Tea and cake to round off the day seems most fitting! x

  5. Ive never heard of this place, I must pop it on my list! How fab! The loo made me laugh. I loved the prefab. We had a tiny cluster of them behind our house when I was little and I loved them. Just been picking Lavender (to make confetti for a wedding) and i thought of you Rosie xxxx

  6. Wow - this museum is only just up the road from me and I'm afraid to say that I've never been!!! I think I've just sorted a day out in the summer. Jx

  7. Absolutely fascinating! It's been more years than I care to remember since I visited this place..:( I love that Mission Hall. x

  8. There is a similar museum to this in Sussex - the Weald and Downland Museum. They are just fab places to visit and to think that some of these buildings would have been destroyed had it not been for dedicated individuals fighting to preserve them. Loved your tour! And what better than to finish the day with tea and cakes!

  9. I've never heard of this but it sounds fantastic - what a brilliant idea to 'collect' historic buildings. It looks so interesting (and the yummy looking tea and cake adds interest too!).

  10. I've never seen a three seater before. Lovely photos and tour - thank you.

  11. Fascinating! Can I move in now? Any dwelling will do.

    Like Ruth I've never seen a three- seater before. Is that in the luxury line?

    You find the best places. Thank You.

  12. All these pretty buildings in just one place?! Wow! Thank you for the tour "around England" then! :)
    Have a good weekend!

  13. What a wonderful place - a walk through history - thank you for sharing this with us - very enjoyable.

  14. Thank you for sharing your visit and collages are great, my favourite is the iron clad mission, just lovely.

  15. I love these kind of museums! I could live in those houses as they are. Well...not the three seater toilet but the rest is Tea and cake looks lovely.

    Hugs from Holland ~

  16. Hi Rosie, just catching up on some reading before I get back to posting and found your trip to this museum. How wonderful it looks, I love looking at how people used to live. The 1950s house also reminds me of my childhood and we also used to have a prefabby kind of building behind some trees at the bottom of the garden. Thanks for the memories.
    Patricia x