Black Country Living Museum
Explore the rich history of a small region that made a big impact on the world at Black Country Living Museum. Historic characters bring history to life in the Museum’s open-air setting, made up of rebuilt and replicated houses, shops and industrial areas.
From becoming a ‘history detective’ to a ‘time-traveller’, there are so many ways pupils and adult learners alike can discover the tales of Black Country folk from the past. The Museum is situated in Dudley in the West Midlands, just ten miles outside of Birmingham and with close links to the M5.
Students and pupils can uncover this rich history through the Museum’s designated collections, characters, buildings and transport. Highlights include exploring an underground mine, dropping into the Edwardian era for a school lesson you’ll never forget, discovering 1940s-60s trends, and watching sparks fly at the chain-making workshop.
The Museum has been a finalist in the “Best Museum Visit” category at the School Travel Awards for 2022 and 2023, as well as holding a Quality Badge from Council For Learning Outside The Classroom.
This open-air museum has a prestigious history of being a destination for school trips. It offers dedicated trails and workshops for all Key Stages, with tailored content to suit all kinds of learners, as well as a host of facilities, additional activities and outreach opportunities.
Key Stage One pupils can become ‘time-travellers’ for the day, and step back into the past to uncover the histories of homes, transport or even toys! Through guided visits, pupils can explore a range of different houses and homes and discover the lifestyles of people who lived thee; investigate the toys belonging to children from the past alongside one of the Museum’s historic characters; or get a chance to see the Museum’s nationally recognised transport collection as they explore how transport has developed through the ages from horse-drawn vehicles to the motor car.
The role of a ‘history detective’ awaits Key Stage Two students, with the opportunity to follow historical inquiry investigations through real life stories and cross-curricular opportunities. On self-led trails, students can engage with a range of topics from coal, iron and steam to canal mania. There’s even a chance to become an ‘accident investigator’, where students can reveal an insight into notorious living and working conditions in the 19th century, giving students a deeper level of understanding of the social conditions and values of the time by using real-life case studies.
Students at Key Stages Three and Four have the opportunity to delve deeper into the history and context of the Black Country. On guided visits, students can develop and extend knowledge of key events in 19th century Britain that helped shape the modern world, including exploring wider issues of social values and responsibility. Through the evidence of historic buildings, landscapes and objects, students can identify the main features of local industrial changes.
Not forgetting, there’s also plenty of fun to be had in exploring the Museum’s 26 acres! Step into different periods of history, from the Edwardian shops and school classroom right up to the record shops and hairdresser from the 1950s. The Museum’s famous fish and chip shop is awaiting for a delicious lunch, or for those with a sweet tooth pick up a traditional treat from T. Cook’s Sweet Shop or Burgin’s Newsagents. There’s plenty of fun and games at the vintage fairground, or have a go at old-fashioned street games down on the cobbles with a hoop and stick or hopscotch.
The Museum boasts a host of facilities and a dedicated learning space for schools. Opened in April 2023, the Museum Conference & Learning Centre includes new classrooms, toilet facilities, lunch space and a dedicated entrance, adjoining a spacious car park. All school trips have the option to add on additional activities, including sessions on the perils of mining, trying your hand at traditional canal art or rolling up your sleeves and getting the laundry done, Edwardian style!
The Museum also offers outreach programmes, bringing the Black Country and its rich history right into your own classroom.
Disabled Access, Disabled Toilets, Facilities for Hearing Impaired, Facilities for Visually Impaired, Guide Dogs Welcome, On Site Parking
Pre visit Available, Risk Assessment Available,
Cafe, Picnic Site, Shop, Toilets,
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