Monday, 12 June 2017

Visiting Birmingham: Exploring the Jewellery Quarter

Time for another post about my trip to Birmingham (finally!).

On the first day (well, afternoon really) of my visit to the city I mostly just walked around oohing over the architecture and photographing owls.

The next morning I headed to the Jewellery Quarter: a historic area of the city which has been home to goldsmiths and silversmiths for over 200 years.

If you're visiting Birmingham and are at all interested in history this part of the city is an absolute must-see.

I recommend picking up a copy of the Jewellery Quarter Heritage Trail leaflet (PDF) from the tourist info office - it gives you an easy to follow walking route around the area and lots of interesting information to read along the way. There's a lot to see, including some really rather gorgeous buildings.

After following the trail I visited the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, about which I'd heard great things - and it did not disappoint!

The museum is based in the former factory of a jewellery manufacturing firm, Smith & Pepper. When the owners of the firm retired they just ceased trading and locked up the building, creating a fascinating time capsule of a place.

Upstairs in the museum there are galleries devoted to the history of the Jewellery Quarter, and to jewellery made from natural materials around the world, but the highlight is by far the guided factory tour. It's hugely entertaining, packed with interesting facts and amusing anecdotes, and you get to look around this incredible place!

I'll share more photos from my Birmingham adventure soon. In the meantime...