Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings is a collection of 25 historic buildings re-assembled from various places in England and placed over a 15 acre site. They represent seven centuries of English building and are made of timber, brick, corrugated iron, steel, asbestos, concrete and fibreglass.
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A covered exhibit area has further displays. On special events days there are craftspeople and re-enactors that demonstrate various aspects of the past related to the buildings. We recommend going on a special event day to get the full experience.
Buildings in the collection include:
1. String of Horses Inn: 1786; moved from Shrewsbury; originally two Tudor merchants’ houses that became an inn
2. Counting house: octagonal design from Bromsgrove cattle market; used 1853-1978; where farmers paid or received money for stock bought and sold
3. Guesten Hall roof: modern building but with 1330s timber roof from Worcester cathedral guest’s hall.
4. Fibreglass spire: from Smethwick, West Midlands; erected 1961 on St Pauls church
5. Victorian cell block: three cells; from Ledbury, Herefordshire; once attached to the magistrates court
6. Plas Cadwgan: from Clwyd, North Wales; house demolished; surviving timbers from medieval hall and screen passage.
7. Cockpit: 18th century; from Bridgnorth, Shropshire; later used as theatre and coach house
8. Dovecote: from Haselour Hall, Staffordshire; contains 750 nesting boxes; built c 1600
9. Ice House: from Tong Castle, Shropshire; built c 1765
10. Toll Keeper’s House: built 1822; originally owned by Upton-upon-Severn Turnpike Trust; moved from Little Malvern, Worcestershire; two storey brick building with living room and scullery on ground floor; two bedrooms on first floor; rear rubble wall of Malvern stone.
11: Racksaw: from Milverton, Warwickshire; used to prepare timber for building
12. 1946 Prefab: shows how people lived after WWII when they were rehoused out of necessity.
13. Merchant’s house: built late 15th century for woodsman on corner Station St and Worcester Rd; occupied by a family of dyers in 1558; oak timber frame infilled with wattle and daub; external lime wash; moved to the museum from Bromsgrove and was the first exhibit; front and back doors; central hall and screens passage; two storey solar wing; may have had service wing, if so did not survive.
14. Nail making shop: from Sidemoor in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, an area specializing in nail making as a cottage industry usually done by women and children; separated by wash/brewhouse in middle; represents the 9000 people employed there in the industry; two forges; washing copper and other washing containers and implements
15. Chain making shop: from Colley Gate, Cradley, West Midlands; localized industry due to supply of iron and coke and skilled labour
16. Perry Mill: used to crush pears and apples to make cider and perry; 1790-1810 two storey brick construction; from Redditch, Worcestershire; fell into disuse after WWII; first floor has two bay open door storage for fruit and barrel storage space
17. Wagon shed: dates from first half of 1700s; from Hanbury, Worcestershire
18. Stable: from Wychhold, Worcestershire; late 18th century; brick infill frame on sandstone plinth; curved braces on back wall; two bay roof with intermediate truss; weather boarded gables; housed three horses; stalls, feeding rack; trough
19. Cruck barn: 16th century; from Cholstrey Court Farm, Herefordshire; crucks of black poplar with rest of frame of oak infilled with split oak pales.
20. Granary: from Temple Broughton, Worcestershire; late 18th century grain store; space beneath was cart shed; elm frame with brick piers; two dog kennels built into the steps; ladder store under the eaves.
21. Windmill: mid 19th century; moved from Danzey Green, Warwickshire; has brick round house, constructed mid 19th century; interior furnishings and organ
22. Earth Closet: from garden of Townsend House, Leominster, Herefordshire; early 18th century; removed to make room for more housing; three holes set in box bench over cess pit; trap door in floor to empty it; sash windows; sandstone slate roof; inside front wall was covered in panelling
23. Victorian Mission church: built 1891, closed 1988; from Bringsty Common, Hertfordshire; softwood frame covered in deal boarding; clad in corrugated iron; still hosts services and wedding blessings
24. Forge Cottage: 18th century timber framed house and forge; from Wellington, Herefordshire; now used for offices
25. Victorian chimneys: from cottage built c1870 in Cardiff, Wales
Also on the premises is the National Telephone Kiosk Collection dating from the 1920s to the present day. There are examples of all types of GPO and BT telephone kiosks as well as police ones.
A showman’s wagon for a travelling fairground showman is also on view. There is a miniature railway which runs on Tuesdays and special event weekends. An orchard on the site has apple and pear trees.
Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings
Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Off the A38 from the B4091, signed off roundabout
Tel. 0 1527 831 363 or 831 886
Open: April-June, Tue-Fri, 10.30am-4.30pm, on Sat and Sun until 5pm; July and Aug, daily, 10.30am-5pm
Tea-room; small gift shop; parking; picnic area; special events; weddings
Web: Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings