Journey back to the Steam Age in this charming Victorian town, its industrial zone and its countryside, without modern contraptions of electricity and cars.
An old pub, a train station and a church are among the nostalgia-evoking assemblies skirting the streets of Blists Hill, a museum designed to resemble a typical 19th-century district. This open-air museum reveals Victorian customs, with intriguing panels shedding light on Shropshire’s culture and manufacturing prowess. Try traditional food and drinks and purchase old-world items in this tribute to the past.
Travel by horse and cart through the museum. A range of friendly Victorian shop owners and tradespeople, played by actors, greet visitors to the workshops, factories and stores of this antiquated world. Note that the museum combines structures that were already part of the previous industrial site with structures built for the museum.
Deep supplies of coal and iron helped to shape the development and culture of the region. Learn about industries such as tile factories, brick works, mines and blast furnaces. Purchase Victorian tokens in the bank to use in the post office, fried fish stand and dressmaker’s shop for a glimpse of how people lived in the 1800s. Also lining the street are a schoolhouse, a squatters’ cottage and a pharmacy.
The Forest Glen Refreshment Pavilion serves cakes and pastries, while ales and afternoon teas are prepared in the Club Room. Enjoy an ice cream from the Coffee Shop on a warm summer afternoon.
The museum first opened in 1973 and is often used as a filming location. In summer, the site opens daily from morning until late afternoon. It is closed on Mondays in winter. Purchase tickets and ask for discounts for kids and seniors.
Blists Hill sits between Jackfield and Madeley in the southern outskirts of Telford. Drive south for 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the Telford Central railway station to get here in about 10 minutes. Explore some of the neighboring attractions, such as the Museum of the Gorge, the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and the Coalport China Museum.