Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums
Scroll down the page for more vids and information links!
We are opening our grounds and houses for a series of open days and safe activities this autumn
Entrance to our sites is free but there may be a charge for some activities.
You don't need to book to visit but you may need to book for some activities and craft bags. See the listings below for details.
The sites may be open at other times other than the open days below for bookable activities or events.
Scroll down the page for information about our events and activities!
We ask you to continue to wear a face covering inside our buildings for the safety of staff, volunteers and other visitors and respect other people's personal space. We ask you to continue to sign into test and trace although this is your personal choice and please observe our one way-system. Please use the sanitisers provided on entrance and before using our play areas. Do not attend our sites if you have any covid 19 symptoms and book a PCR test. Open days and event and activity information is below. Toilets are available on site, but refreshments may not be available - call the site for information.
September Open Days
Bromwich Hall - 0121 588 2985. Tuesday 11am-2pm and Saturday - 10am-1pm - . Last admission 30 mins before closing.
Haden Hill House - 01384 569 444. Thursdays and Fridays 10:30am-12:30am and then 2pm-4:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays 2pm-5pm. Last admission 30 minutes before the museum closes.
Oak House Museum - 0121 553 0759. Open Wednesdays, Thursdays 11am-2pm and Sundays 10am-1pm. Last admission half an hour before the museum closes. NB on Wednesday 15th September the house will be open 4pm-8pm as part of Heritage Open Days (see below) and not open 11am-2pm
Wednesbury Museum and art Gallery - 0121 556 0683. Due to ongoing building works we don't have any planned open days at the moment but we hope the museum will be open in the autumn. Please keep checking back for further details nearer the time.
Bishop Asbury Cottage and Galton Valley Pumping Station - There are currently no plans for open days at these sites but we hope we can open them later in the autumn.
We want you to have an enjoyable but safe visit to our sites so here is some information you will need to read before your visit.
You will need to pre-book for some of our activities and craft activity bags this so that we can ensure our visitors are safe and numbers are limited. Please check you are purchasing the correct thing before you buy! You can book your tickets here. If you need to pre-book or there is a cost it will say so in the listing, if not just turn up!
Please note that changes may be made at any time due to changes in government guidelines.
Heritage Open Days 10 to 19 September 2021 and September activities
Haden Hill House
11 and 12 September– 11:30am - 4:30pm Haden Old Hall open day. Discover 400 years of this fascinating building, its survival and the Haden Family. No need to book
11 and 12 September – 11:30am-4:30pm. The world according to Cradley Heath. – An exhibition of pieces of arts and crafts put together by local people in Cradley Heath during lockdown, curated by Cradley Creative. No need to book
12th – Steve King Big Band – from 2pm out in the park. Bring a chair or a picnic blanket and a picnic and enjoy an afternoon of fantastic, uplifting live music in the park. You can also visit Haden Hill House and Old Hall. No need to book
10th – 19th September. 100 years since Mr Haden Best. As part of our insideout museum programme, we showcase photos of the Haden family, the houses and park from the late 1890s and early 1900s on the windows of Haden Old Hall in this anniversary year of 100 years since Mr Haden Best died. No need to book
Thursday 16th August 10.30am, Saturday 18th August 2.30pm -– Haden Hill Park is a fascinating historic landscape. Take a guided tour around the park and discover some amazing stories – booking essential, call the house on 01384569444 during opening hours.
10th-19th September. Thursday and Friday 10:30am-12:30pm and 2pm-5pm and Saturday and Sunday 2pm-5pm. An summer evening soiree at Haden Hill House. Mr Haden Best is holding a dinner party so see the house ready to receive the guests. The dining table is ready for the dinner party guests with an original menu and menu cards and the Drawing room is ready for the evening’s entertainment. No need to book
Oak House Museum
Wednesday 15th - 4pm-8pm Oak House after hours, visit Oak House and take an early evening stroll around the grounds, meet the servants from 1600s preparing food and listen to live music from the period. Discover Oak House in the 1600s and John Turton and his family. No need to book
Thursday 16th – 10am-1pm - The 17th Century Vegan – You may think that rocket is a new fancy food or that almond milk is a modern invention – but you would be wrong! Most people in the 1600s had a largely vegetarian diet as meat was quite a luxury. Learn about cold foods, vegetables, herbs, salads and sweet treat in the 1600s and the non-meaty food eaten. No need to book
Sunday 19th - 10am-2pm. The 17th Century vegan – You may think that rocket is a new fancy food or that almond milk is a modern invention – but you would be wrong! Most people in the 1600s had a largely vegetarian diet as meat was quite a luxury. Learn about cooking vegetables in the 1600s and what other non-meat foods might have been eaten at Oak House as the servants light the fire and cook up a pottage. No need to book
Saturday 11 September 10am-1pm- Edible England at Bromwich Hall- Take a step back in time and discover the history of Bromwich Hall. From our 13th century great hall to the 21st century pub, with 750 years of history there are plenty of stories waiting to be uncovered. Enjoy the smells of food being cooked in the grounds and learn of the authentic dishes cooked in medieval England. No need to book
Tuesday 14 September 10am-1pm- A sound of the times at Bromwich Hall- Take a step back in time and discover the history of Bromwich Hall. From our 13th century great hall to the 21st century pub, with 750 years of history there are plenty of stories waiting to be uncovered. Enjoy the sounds of variety of renaissance instruments including the lute, guitar, orpharion and vihuela with live music in our great hall. No need to book
Friday 17 September 6pm-8pm-After Hours at Bromwich Hall- Visit the house after sun down and take a step back in time and discover the history of Bromwich Hall. From our 13th century great hall to the 21st century Pub, with 750 years of history there are plenty of stories waiting to be uncovered and our costumed staff will be on hand to give you an introduction to the history of this amazing building. No need to book
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 September 10am-3pm- Bromwich Hall Alive - A Medieval Encampment at Bromwich Hall- Join Buckingham's retinue re-enactment group as they bring Bromwich Hall and grounds to life as it would have been in medieval times, with food preparation, weapons displays, games, dancing, music and more. No need to book
Other September activities at Bromwich Hall
Monday 13 September – Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb- Escape Room Experience:
When a famous archaeologist disappears on his latest dig, it is up to you and your friends to enter the tomb and find out what happened. There’s only one problem… the tomb is supposedly cursed and anyone and anyone who has entered is never seen again. For children aged 7+ £10 per person,
to book visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts
Wednesday 15 September 7pm- 'Ayres and Graces': Enjoy an evening of live music with a variety of 16th & 17th century instruments under the old beams of our 750 year old Great Hall- £6 per adult, £5 per child. To book visit, www.ticketsource.co.uk/sandwell-museums-and-arts
Lunchtime live from Bishop Asbury Cottage - Monday 13 September: 13:00-14:00 then afterwards will be available on Facebook. Visit our Facebook page @sandwellmuseums, grab your lunch and join us live from Bishop Asbury's Cottage - the childhood home of one of the most famous people you have probably never heard of! This tiny 18th century cottage was the childhood home of Francis Asbury who is a well-known historical figure in the USA.
Lunchtime with Sandwell Museums from home - Each day of Heritage Open Days we'll be posting, videos, talks, online tours and information on our Facebook page and other digital platforms between 12 noon and 2pm.
Join us on our digital platforms and enjoy videos, costumed characters, activities, talks and tours each day of heritage open days at lunchtime.
Go to our facebook page at www.facebook.com/sandwellmuseums
You can find out more at www.sandwell.gov.uk/joininmuseums about talks etc a week before heritage open days
Sandwell Stories - Check out the links below to find videos, blogs, information, pics and more as we share our stories.
Beyond the heritage - Meet Sandwell Museums in this vid
Sandwell Museums - meet the collection
Sandwell Museums collection in 10 key objects - Read our blog and see the mini vids that showcase 10 objects we think explain our collection
Sandwell Museums in 10 objects video - 10 more objects in this video with our collections officer.
The Diggers up - Discover the story of our mort safe.
My Favourite painting - a member of staff shares their favourite painting at Wednesbury Museum
The Nostalgia Rooms - Do you remember rooms like this?
Ruskin Pottery and Black Country People at work - While the family at Haden Hill House lived in luxury, many in the Black Country lived in terrace houses and working in factories. Discover one of the best firms to work for at the end of the Victorian period and the fantastic colourful items they made!
Bromwich Hall Stories
What was going on outside Bromwich Hall? - Bromwich Hall is a remarkable survival but what was happening outside the walls of the building in the past? Watch out mini vid.
Why isn't it a pub any more - Discover why Bromwich Hall is such an important building by reading this blog
Bringing in the pollinators -mini vid about our little orchard
Ladies of the Manor - Read about some of the women who are associated with Bromwich Hall
Why have you painted it pink? - Read and discover how medieval buildings were far from being black and white!
We all know people in the past didn't drink the water....or did they? Read about drinking water vs beer in the past.
Staff share some of their favourite things about Bromwich Hall
A member of staff shares something that inspires them - The chapel floor
The great hall - Forget the architecture for a moment, staff share a reason why this building is so amazing! mini vid
Meet the residents. Over 700 years meet 3 people who lived at Bromwich Hall in our short videos.
Oak House Stories
Oak House rear in the frost
Beautiful Oak House - Check our our Flikr page showcasing photos of this fabulous building.
Oak House and the community - Check out our Flikr page full of pics of our events and activities
Seaven cowes and heifers - Read about The Oak House farm in the 1600s
Meet the new dairy maid - In this video the old maid introduces how to make cheese and butter to Alice the new dairy maid.
The Oak House meadow - relax and enjoy this video showcasing our meadow at Oak house.
Discovering plants at Oak House - watch out relaxing video about some of the plants at Oak House.
Discovering plants at Oak House - relax and enjoy this lovely video about elder and how it was used in the past.
Rewilding at Oak House - See how we are trying to make our grounds perfect for nature and tell its stories
Ladybird - Discover this nursery rhyme and its meaning.
John Turton's chimney pots - Watch our video about how Master Turton made his house fit for a gentlemen.
Round the back of Oak House - in this video we explore the less well known brick façade.
Exploring the outside of Oak House - Watch our video and discover Oak House and how it developed.
Mistress Turton's lace - watch our video and discover how the Turtons used their clothes to show their wealth and status.
Master Turton's posh staircase - Watch our video and see how John Turton upgraded his house to make it fit for a gentleman
Master Turton's best bed - Explore the best bed in the parlour
The oldest clock - Staff showcase the oldest long case clock at Oak House in this little video.
The oldest chest - staff showcase the oldest piece of furniture at Oak House.
Why 17th century buildings weren't so black and white! - Have a look at the Oak House wall painting
The star wars chairs - A member of staff explains why 2 chairs of their favourite.
Shutt up! - Read about quarantine and preventing disease in the 1600s
Blood letting and burdock - Read how to prevent sunburn in the 17th century.
Where have the priest holes gone? Visitors often tell us they were shown priest holes at Oak House in the 1960s, Read about what has happened to the Oak House priest holes.
Penny for a pumpkin - How Halloween and bonfire night got mixed together, read our blog.
Did the idea for the dissolution of the monasteries start in Sandwell? 100 years before the Puritan Turtons moved into Oak House Thomas Cromwell visited Sandwell Priory. Read about what happened.
Try out these old games - You can scratch these boards into the ground or onto a piece of paper or in chalk on the ground. Watch the vids and have a go!
Haden Hill, Old Hall and Park
An Introduction to Haden Hill House - Watch our introduction video to Haden Hill House 10 minutes
An introduction to Haden Old Hall - Watch our mini-doc about Haden Old Hall 15 minutes long
When is a Tudor Hall not a Tudor Hall? Read our blog tracing the history of Haden Tudor Old Hall, which isn't Tudor, that old or a hall - it was probably built by the Hadens though!
Meet George Alfred Haden Haden Best - George Alfred tells you his story of how he came to build Haden Hill House and inherit the Haden/ Barrs estate.
Best's Angels - Meet Emmie and Alice - Check out the website for our project Best's Angels, read Emmie's diaries, see photos and find out about George Alfred's adopted daughters
Shoes and socks off, we're off for a paddle - Read our blog and enjoy our photographs of George Alfred Haden Haden Best at the seaside.
A treasure trove - Several years ago a box of glass plates of the family at Haden Hill house in the early 1900s came into our possession. We have only a few pics of the family.
Make shelf edging with the housekeeper - Watch our video and try you hand at making shelf edging at home.
The Inside out museum - Visit Haden Hill Park and take a walk around this historic landscape with our map. Discover information in the windows of our buildings as you can't look around at the moment which will tell you about the history of the houses and park. Enjoy 55 acres of green flag parkland too.
Visit the historic parkland and explore the historic features.
Staff showcase some of their favourite bits of Haden Hill House or things that have caught their eye.
Amazing hand drawn cards and envelopes to Mr Haden Best
Mrs Martin's guide to wartime rationing - Watch our video about wartime rationing. Haden Hill House and Old Hall were used for a variety of reasons during World War II including as a food store and for billeting evacuees before a home was found for them, the Homeguard drilled in the park and parts of the park were used to plant veg
Bishop Asbury Cottage - The tiny cottage with a big story
More vids and info to come by 18th September!
The prophet on the long road - Francis Asbury tells you his story in his own words
Probably the most famous person you've never heard of! Find out the fascinating story of Francis Asbury
Take a tour of Bishop Asbury Cottage - This 15 minute video gives you a tour of this tiny cottage
Check out our fascinating blogs with history stories, information, peeps behind the scenes etc.
Important visitor information - Please read before you visit
- Scroll down the page to find out what activities are available at our different sites. Please note that our sites are open at advertised times below and also for general casual visitors. For these general opening hours click the links to the site page. We will be updating our events throughout the year for the coming season so keep coming back to see what's on next.
- Entrance to our sites is FREE unless an admission charge is stated for specific activities and there is no need to book unless it states booking is required. To book, phone the relevant site or pop in - cash or cheque only.
- Please note that staff are not available to take phone calls every day. Please avoid calling on Mondays.
- Follow the links below to the site pages to find out about opening times, accessibility and facilities
We are unable to accommodate pushchairs inside our buildings due to the size and nature of our sites.
Assistance dogs only on site please.
Please note that social media posts may not include all information about a given event, there is more information and details below.
Online bookings - Please note that tickets once purchased will not be refunded unless an error in booking has occurred (eg clicked the wrong time) .Where you have booked tickets online but request a refund; where a refund is deemed appropriate visitors must request their refund to the site via email or by phone giving the name the ticket was booked in and the valid reason for a refund. A refund of the face value of the tickets will be given - booking fees will not be refunded. Refunds will not be authorised less than 3 days before an event as we will need chance to be able to resell your ticket. Refunds won't be issued if you can't come on the day or don't turn up on the day. We are unable to refund booking fees in the unlikely event of an event cancellation as this is the fee taken by the ticket company.
January - please note our sites are completely closed to groups, visitors and pre-booked activities in January - we don't take bookings in January due to deep cleaning, maintenance and planning activities
Behind the scenes insight, cracking history information and lots of interesting stuff in our Sandwell Museums blog. Find out more about what goes on behind the closed doors at sandwell Museums. and some great history bits and bobs
Oak House family Fun
Galton Valley Pumping station is open on the second Saturday of the month 10am-3pm from March to October Entry FREE - Dog Friendly
Housed in the New Smethwick Pumping Station the canal museum tells the story of the Galton Valley canal system and the people that lived and worked on it. Entry to the museum is free and there are light refreshments available. Sorry there are no toilet facilities.
Manned by our brilliant Friends group. Entrance is FREE - Call 0121 556 0683 for more information.
Here are our 2020 open days
11th April - Enjoy our Easter trail for younger visitors and get a small chocolate egg for completing the trail.
11th July - Enjoy the heritage boat at the pumping station
Bishop Asbury Cottage normally hosts several public open days per year FREE. keep checking back here for details
Alternatively you can book in a group visit for a small charge per person by calling 0121 553 0759.
Look out for our 2020 free open days in spring and September 2020.
You can also 'join us' and discover there are 'More to Museums' - find out what regular groups or activities adults can get involved with from gardening or knitting, fund raising, volunteering or dressing up!