Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings is an open-air museum of rescued buildings which have been relocated to its site in Stoke Heath, a district of Bromsgrove. Founded in 1963 and opened in 1967, the museum was conceived following the dismantling of a 15th-century timber-framed house in Bromsgrove in 1962 to provide a location for its reconstruction. It became England's first open-air museum and the second in the United Kingdom. This building is known as the 'Merchant's House' today, though it has been known by other names in the past, including the 'Bromsgrove House' and the 'Tudor House'. It now houses a collection of domestic, industrial, agricultural and other forms of historic building, the majority dismantled and re-erected. The museum's collection comprises more than 27 buildings and structures which have been relocated from their original sites under threat of demolition, being rebuilt and restored at the museum. This includes a fully functioning windmill and a post WW2 prefab house as used in many towns and cities after the Second World War to provide quick affordable replacements for houses destroyed by bombing. The Arcon V prefabricated house was originally constructed on Moat Lane in Yardley, Birmingham and was transported to the museum in 1981.
The buildings include industrial buildings (for example the chain shop), residential / domestic buildings (for example the prefab and toll house), religious buildings (such as the church), agricultural buildings (such as the windmill, barn and stable), buildings for entertainment (such as the cockpit) and others that don't fit these categories (such as the cell block, earth closet and ice house). The other exhibits, which span over 700 years of history, include a perry mill from Redditch, a toll house from Little Malvern, a fibreglass spire from Smethwick, an earth closet, a cruck-frame barn and a counting house. Some of the buildings are furnished interally to present a view of life in a particular era in that building.
Avoncroft Museum is a 19-acre open-air museum of historic buildings. The buildings are linked by wide gravel paths and there are numerous benches around the grounds. The site is mostly flat, although there is one steep hill. Disabled parking is available. Manual wheelchairs and motorised mobility scooters are available to borrow on request. The Museum has accessible toilets. There is a ramped entrance to the Museum shop and to the Edwardian Tea Room. Most historic buildings have entrance ramps, although some do have stepped entrances. Many of the historic buildings are only wheelchair accessible on the ground floor as their historic nature and design prohibits the installation of lifts. Alternative pictorial representation is available. Some narrow doorways and small spaces can make manoeuvrability difficult. Accessibility for blind and partially-sighted visitors:- All of the buildings and some of their contents can be experienced through touch. Touch tours and object handling sessions can be provided upon prior arrangement. Some buildings have low light levels and low contrast features due to their historic nature. A large print Museum map and large print menu for the Edwardian Tea Room are available on request. Guide dogs are welcome at the Museum. Accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing visitors: - All of the historic buildings have written information panels.
Location : Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4JR
Transport: Bromsgrove (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : The 141 bus from Droitwich to Bromsgrove passes the Museum.
Opening Times : Daily 10:30 to 17:00; May, June, September, October closed on Mondays.
Tickets : Adults £8.80; Seniors £7.70; Children (5+)/Students £4.50.
Tel: 01527 831363