Black Country Living Museum Dudley

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0121 520 8054

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Areas served:

West Midlands

Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4SQ

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December


PreSchool, 5 to 7 years, 8 to 10 years, 11 to 13 years, 14 to 16 years, College, University

The Museum offers a wealth of Curriculum linked learning opportunities using our collections & industrial open-air Museum as an investigative resource. Students get to explore: period settings, talk to costumed demonstrators & handle original artefacts.

Listed under: Day Trip Destinations | Citizenship | Outdoor Education | Museums | Historical Heritage | Historic Buildings | Caves & Caverns | Boat Trips | Adventure Playgrounds | Educational Tours | Science | Leisure and Tourism | History | Geography | English | Themed Attraction

What we offer

The Black Country Living Museum offers immersive learning experiences within a living open-air industrial landscape. The Museum tells the story of the life-styles, cultures, traditions and industry of the people living in the Black Country from 1712-1950.

As well as exploring the social history of the area, it highlights the entrepreneurial and manufacturing skills and the innovation of the inhabitants and the impact they were to have on modern industry. It is the story of things being made as well as lives being led, and so offers learning opportunities for a broad range of curriculum subjects, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art and design and citizenship as well as history.

The Museum is one of the largest open-air museums in the United Kingdom. It recreates the world's first industrial landscape, within a 26 acre site. Our nationally recognized collections include period houses and shops interpreted by costumed demonstrators; working examples of key industries, demonstrating chainmaking, nail making and brass founding; and a significant transport collection comprising trolley buses, motorcars, pre-1939 vintage motorcycles and 16 canal boats all of local manufacture.

The Museum also owns a separate site - the Locksmith's House Museum in Willenhall - which encompasses a Victorian House and workshop.

What makes us a great choice?

Black Country Living Museum offers unique learning outside the classroom activities focusing on real lives and real stories, supported by friendly and experienced staff and high quality downloadable resources.

The Museum offers experiential, mulit-sensory learning experiences. Students can see, smell, hear, touch and even taste what it was like to live and work in the world's first industrial landscape. They can explore period shops and houses, meet costumed demonstrators and find out about the real people who lived and worked in the buildings at the Museum.

They can discover hidden gardens and industrial workshops, watch demonstrations of traditional skills - from sweet-making and baking to heavy metal-working - or get hands-on with our bookable learning sessions.

What is typically included?

The Museum offers a wealth of Curriculum linked learning opportunities using our collections and industrial open-air Museum as an investigative resource. Students get the opportunity to explore period settings, talk to costumed demonstrators, handle original artefacts and try out creative techniques and processes.

The Museum caters for all ages and levels, from early years through to Higher Education and covers a broad subject area in addition to history, including art and design, science, design and technology, literacy, mathematics and citizenship.

Schools can make a study specific visit to the Museum, exploring the period buildings using the themed resources and trails provided. The Museum also offers a guiding service to help tailor the visit to the needs of each individual group. (Additional charges can apply).

For History we offer a choice of historical enquiry led learning themes.

KS1: Themes focusing on changes within living memory include transport, houses and homes, and toys

Themes focusing on significant historical events locally and nationally include a study of Thomas Newcomen and the age of steam, and the Black Country at War.

KS2: A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066 focuses on the changing lives of children from 1850-1940. 
Local History Studies include: Canal Mania; Coal Iron and Steam; and the Black Country at War, 1914-1918.

KS3 and 4: Students can investigate: Britain as the first industrial nation; the significance of coal and iron in the Black Country 1712-1901; the changing role of women; and the social, cultural and technological changes 1901-1945.

To enable a deeper level of engagement, the Museum also offers a range of bookable learning experiences including a traditional 1912 school lesson, experiencing life at work in our underground mine or our laundry session, finding out about life at play in our toy handling sessions or getting creative with canal art. (Additional charges apply for these activities).

The Museum also offers a range of full-day hands-on workshops and themed events focusing on art and design, design and technology and science.

Group Sizes Catered For

We offer educational group rates for parties of 15 or more with one teacher admitted free with every 10 students. We are a large open air Museum and cater for up to 650 students a day, so there is no maximum group size for study specific visits. However there are maximum group sizes for our bookable sessions and workshops.

Materials, Resources & Information Provided

we provide downloadable investigation packs, worksheets, trails and teachers? notes linked to the different subjects and themes. These are accessible prior to the visit to enable teachers to deliver pre-visit lessons and post visit work.

Photography, Filming & Audio Restrictions

Yes. However, if groups are visiting for a specific filming project then this would have to be pre-booked and adhere to our filming guidelines.

Risk Assessment Details

We provide risk assessment information for all our visits. We also offer free preliminary visits for up to two teachers per school.

Education Officer Information

The Museum's Head of Learning is Mel Weatherley. The Learning Programmer is Jon Drew. We also have a Team Manager for Learning, Pat York, and 38 Learning Assistants.

All enquiries should be made through our Bookings Team: bookings@bclm.com" data-mce-href="ailto:bookings@bclm.com">bookings@bclm.com0121 520 8054

Pricing Information

For all groups of 15 or more:

£6.95 per student for a study specific visit

£8 per students for a full day workshop

£14.00 per adult (but 1 teacher free for every 10 students)

Additional costs apply for the bookable sessions.

Clothing Requirements

The Museum is a large open air site. During inclement weather there is plenty to see inside the many buildings, but make sure the group come prepared with a waterproof if wet weather is forecast.

In the colder winter months, students should wear warm clothing, and appropriate footwear is recommended at all times. However, many schools encourage their students to dress up in appropriate clothes of the period.

First Aid Information

The Museum has a number of trained first aiders. If a first aider is required, please seek assistance from any member of staff or go to the main entrance building.

Available Facilities


The Museum has a Canalside Cafe and refreshment area. Students can buy snacks, sandwiches and drinks from here. In addition, we have a 1930's Fish and Chip Shop where food can be purchased. There is no space for students to eat inside this fish and chip shop.

There are picnic benches around the site (these are indicated on the site map). We also have an undercover area, which can be used in bad weather.

Picnic Areas: If groups prefer to bring their own packed lunch there are a number of grassed picnic areas around the site. During inclement weather there is an undercover picnic area available with limited space.

Gift Shop: There will be time for the group to visit the Museum Gift Shop. The shop sells a wide range of books and souvenirs relating to the Black Country and the Museum. To save time and money £1, £2 and £3 gift packs can be pre-ordered using the enclosed Shop Booking Form.

Accessibility & Disabled Facilities

Wheelchair access is available to the majority of buildings. However, because of the authentic reconstructions, some exhibits can pose difficulties for those with restricted mobility. Staff are always on hand to assist. Wheelchairs are available for free hire - however, pre-booking is essential. Adapted toilets are available in the entrance building and adjacent to the Canalside Cafe.

Opening Hours & Information

Open all year:

January to October, Every Day 10.00am to 5.00pm

November to December, Every Day 10.00am to 4.00pm

Christmas Holidays: Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, January 1, 3 -13

The museum is fully open all week during the February Half Term week.


Thank you for an excellent visit. The children (and staff!) thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt a lot. The whole day was very well organised. Thank you! (KS1 Visit: September 2014)

All of the children and staff had a wonderful experience. The staff were very informative and clearly showed their love of history and the museum. We particularly enjoyed learning about the four children studied as the children could relate to them on a personal level (especially the historical evidence, e.g. photographs, artefacts etc). The whole experience was brilliant. Thank you so much to all of the staff who bought our experience to life! (KS2 Visit: July 2014)

A fantastic day of enjoyment and learning, we wished that there was more time in the day so that we could learn more. Staff were kind, friendly and helpful. We will definitely return as a school when learning about the Victorians again. We are a small school so visits will not be annual. On a personal note I will also revisit with family and friends as they day was superb. Many thanks. Also very good value for money. (KS2 Visit: June 2014)

The costumed guides are great for teachers; we can concentrate on the students and not also have to think about 'guiding' the group? It's a very enjoyable trip and we purposely don't make it too 'serious' (worksheets all the time etc.) just so that they can enjoy the day - including fish and chips, fairground. However, when we follow it up at school it's revealing as to how much they have actually absorbed. (KS3 Visit: September 2014)

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