Glasshouse Heritage Centre

The Glasshouse Heritage Centre (formerly the Webb Corbett Visitor Centre) is a heritage visitor attraction telling the 400 year old story of glassmaking on the site and in the Stourbridge area. With imaginative use of video, photographs, artefacts and other such media the Heritage Centre provides an in depth insight into the journey of the site, the buildings and the social impact of the glass industry to the people of the area right up to the present day, including the work of Ruskin Mill Trust.

A Site Rich in Glass History

The Glasshouse site has an abundance of local history, heritage and a prestigious past.  Once home to the glass greats, Webb Corbett and Royal Doulton, the site was purchased, by Ruskin Mill Land Trust, in 2001 with the objective of keeping the indigenous trade of the area alive, and to create a vibrant, craft-based environment for the transformation of the lives of the students of Glasshouse College.  Two developments of existing buildings on the site have encouraged independent artists and crafts-people to locate themselves at the Glasshouse providing work experience opportunities for College students as well as developing their own arts and crafts.

Another important outcome of recent developments at the Glasshouse has been for a number of local crafts-people, that were historically employed in the glass trade, to be employed as tutors and support staff of the College and for them to work with the students of Glasshouse College imparting their knowledge and skills. This has meant that some of the local ‘glass masters’ have remained on site, including a third generation glass cutter.

Despite the richness of the information and artefacts in the Heritage Centre we are still in the process of piecing together the history of the site.  We particularly want to capture the memories of local people to help us to piece together our exciting and interesting past and to add to the story. We realise that many of the key events and milestones that have happened are centred on the key individuals, teams or departments of the factories and organisations that once were. To this end ‘WE NEED YOU!’ to share any photographs that we can scan, and tell us your memories and stories, some that may have been passed down through the generations, that we can share.

Tours and Visits

The Heritage Centre is usually open to visitors from 10am until 3pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays.  However it is looked after by part-time staff and volunteers and we cannot guarantee that it will always be open at these times.  To avoid disappointment we would ask that you check that the Heritage Centre is open before arranging your visit.

We welcome tours of the site by larger groups, but ask that these are arranged in advance.  We can arrange talks, refreshments, including lunches and demonstrations of glass-making and cutting skills, as well as encouraging some opportunities of ‘retail therapy’ Combined visits can be organised with other local glass-related attractions, including a walk along the canal that links these sites, much a key feature of the economic development of the area and glass industry.   We also provide speakers on the local glass industry for outside events and meetings.

Please do not hesitate to contact us and discuss your thoughts and needs.

Contact:

Telephone:      via Glasshouse site reception (working hours).  01384 399419

Address:          Glasshouse Heritage Centre, The Glasshouse, Wollaston Road, Amblecote, Stourbridge, DY8 4HF

E-mail:             heritage@ruskinglasscentre.co.uk