Get involved - activities and what's on at Sandwell Museums

Oak House Christmas Greenery

 

Scroll down the page for more vids and information links!

Festive Fun and Winter Wonder at Sandwell Museums

Festive Fun online

This festive season will be very different from our usual programme of Christmas events and activities. However we are working hard to bring you some safe festive cheer at our sites and on our social media platforms.

Join us each day on Facebook at Sandwell Museums from 1st to 25th December at 4pm for our advent calendar as we count down the days with a post each day with something different for everyone to enjoy. There will be adult and kid's crafts to try at home, a peep at our decorations, information about Christmas traditions and Christmas past and loads more.

BREAKING NEWS: As Santa won't be in his grotto this year or out and about as much, he has told us he will be sending some news bulletins to us from the North Pole to reassure all the boys and girls and give them some ideas about things they could do this Christmas.

We're opening our grounds on a limited basis! - Pre-booking is essential

We are opening our grounds on a number of days in December. Soak in the festive atmosphere of our grounds and enjoy the Christmas lights, peep through the window at parts of our buildings decorated for the festive season with something a little extra for families to spot.

Please read the information below regarding your visit and watch our video before you book, information about open days is below and then follow the link to book your tickets online

We also have loads of online fun and videos of information, behind the scenes and history on our social media sites - visit www.facebook.com/sandwellmuseums for posts and click the events page for details or visit www.discoversandwell.co.uk/whatson for event details

Before booking please read the information regarding your visit below and then follow this link to book your ticket online.

Information regarding visiting our grounds at this time 

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.

Tickets

1. Entrance is by pre-booked timed ticket only. If you do not have a specific time on your ticket you have not booked an entrance ticket!
2. Each ticket admits up to 6 people if you are not from the same household you must social distance from each other. You must socially distance from other groups on site. 
3. Your ticket is issued for a specific time- We will not be able to admit your group at any other time or if you are late
4. If you require a children’s activity pack for your visit if one is advertised as available you will need to order this online before your visit. Please check for the day of your visit

5. Please only book for one event per site as spaces are limited - one booking per site per group please.

Entrance for our open days.

1. Please be aware that things are different from our usual opening procedures and activities
2. Please wait to be asked to enter the site by a member of staff, you may have to wait a very short time in a socially distanced queue.
3. If you are 11 years old or over you must wear a face covering when approaching reception and in our toilets unless medically exempt. 
4.Please sanitise your hands on entrance using the hands-free sanitisers available
6. Please remain at least 2 metres away from staff and other groups visiting the museum,
7. We ask that your group remains together throughout your visit, 
9. Refreshments,our shops and playgrounds are not currently available but a toilet is available if you require it.
10. You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds but please take your rubbish home
11. Sandwell Museums and Arts will keep your details for 21 days for track and trace purposes
13. Most of all we hope you have an enjoyable visit.

We promise

1. Our sites are cleaned regularly
2. Our staff will adhere to social distancing rules and wear face coverings as per government regulations.
3. All activity packs we produce will be put together at least 72 hours before your visit. Staff will sanitise their hands before giving out your pack

Please note that changes may be made at any time due to changes in government guidelines.

We will continue to offer our events and activities online on our social media sites.

You can book tickets to visit our sites this winter by visiting our online ticket sales site by clicking this link. Although you need to pre-book, visiting is still FREE although there is a small charge for activity packs. during half term 

Festive Grounds Open Days - Free entry but booking a ticket with a timeslot is essential at Oak House and Bromwich Hall. Tickets on sale from 30 November.

Oak House

Family Festive Open Day -  Saturday 5 December, Sunday 6 December, Saturday 12 December, Sunday 13 December with time slots between 12pm and 3pm. Visit our festive grounds and peep into the door at Oak House and glimpse the house decorated for the festive season (the house isn't open), with a hands free outdoor Christmas trail for younger visitors to spot.  You can also book a festive goody bag with crafts, gifts and activities to take home. This must be booked separately through ticketsource when you purchase your entrance tickets.   

Festive Wednesdays - Wednesday 9 December, Wednesday 16 December - times between 10am and 1pm - Take a stroll in the Oak House grounds and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Peep through the open door at the ground floor of the Oak House and find out about Christmas in the past (the house is not open).

Twilight Festive Open Evening - Thursday 17 December 4pm-7pm - Twilight Open Evening - Take a stroll in the Oak House grounds and enjoy the festive atmosphere. peep through the open door at the ground floor of the Oak House and see it lit for a cosy 1600s Christmas and find out about Christmas long ago (the house isn't open ) .

Please note that the grounds can be a bit dark, if you are coming on a twilight stroll then please wear sensible shoes and bring a torch.

Haden Hill House

Santa's magical post box - Santa Claus has arranged for his magic post box to be outside the front door of Haden Hill House Museum on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December from 11am- 3pm. Why don’t you write him a letter or draw a picture & bring it along & drop it in the post box, and with a bit of Christmas magic, it will go straight to Santa

Festive inside out museum - Peer in through the windows at our Christmas trees and Christmas table and as twilight comes see the twinkly lights and candles. See the information about Christmas traditions and decorations in the park with a different trail for younger visitors each week – look at our windows for information where you can also find our Christmas quiz and trail.

Our shutters will be open and the lights on ...

Thursday 10th and Thursday 17th December  - 11am-7pm (so the grown ups can enjoy the lights too and take an evening stroll)
Friday 4th, Friday 11th & Friday 18th 11am-4:30pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December,      Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th - 11am-3pm                                                                  

Please note that the park can be a bit dark, if you are coming on a twilight stroll then please wear sensible shoes and bring a torch.

Bromwich Hall - The Manor House

Festive Family  grounds Open Days - 5, 13, 19 December with times between 11am and 4pm. Visit the grounds of this beautiful medieval building and see them decorated for the festive season with a hands free trail for younger visitors to spot things as they walk around. Why not purchase a special festive goody bag; one for each child in your group (age 3 and over), and your group will have the opportunity to take a walk to glimpse a special visitor from the North Pole who will be ready to say a little hello as you go past at a distance. Entrance to the grounds is free but a ticket must be purchased. Goody bags must be purchased separately.

Twilight Tuesdays grounds opening - 8 and 15 3pm-6pm. Why not take your daily exercise by walking around the grounds lit with twinkly lights and decorations for the festive season, with something extra for families to spot.

Twilight grounds open evening - Friday 18 December - 4pm-7pm. Take your daily stroll at Bromwich Hall grounds and enjoy the festive atmosphere and Christmas lights. Guaranteed to get you in the festive mood.

Please note the grounds can be a little dark so on the Twilight visits please wear sensible shoes and bring a torch.

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 

Museums

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.

Mr Kilvert's Sword - Learn about the story of John Ashley Kilvert, who was at the Charge of the Light Brigade and the objects in our collection related to his fascinating story.

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

The Manor House today

Photos of Bromwich Hall check out some Flikr pics of this fabulous 13th century building. See some pics of our events and activities

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

Round the back - Watch our vid which shows the different phases of the house's history from around the back

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.

How Bromwich Hall came to be built in the 1270s - Sarah De Everiis and Margaret de Marnham. Watch our video

Mistress Shilton's letter - Learn about Lettice and Richard Shilton who lived at Bromwich Hall in the 1620s-40s Watch our video

Mr Farnell's memories - In the early 20th century Bromwich Hall was home to 8 families.  Watch our video

Witch Marks! - Watch our video about the intriguing protective marks at Bromwich Hall.

 

Oak House Stories

Oak House rear

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 servants' bedroom - Staff show you around the servants' bedroom at Oak House with a glimpse of the more resent past at the house.

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

Ba ba black sheep Discover the origins of this rhyme and what it means for the residents of Oak House in the 1600s.

Patacake Baker's Man - Watch our vid and discover the origins of some of our favourite nursery rhymes. This time patacake.

Lavender Blue - Watch our video and discover how lavender was used long ago - there is also something for you to try.

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

Mistress Turton's remedies - Discover some 17th century cures for coughs and colds with Mistress Turton in this video - get the orange peel ready!.

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.

Carving spoons - In the 1600s items had to be handmade, watch our video about carving a beautiful wooden spoon.

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!

Merelles or Nine Men's Morris

Rota

Mancala

Laurence

Haden Hill, Old Hall and Park

Haden Hill House in Cradley Heath.

An Introduction to Haden Hill House - Watch our introduction video to Haden Hill House 10 minutes

Flikr pics. See some pics of Haden Hill House. See some pics of our events and activities

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.

Haden Hill Park - Watch our 20 minute mini-doc about Haden Hill park and its historic landscape.

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.

Self guided tour of the historic sites

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.

A glimpse at the amazing floor

A glimpse at the housekeeper's cupboard.

A glimpse at the library at Haden Hill House

A glimpse at the jardinières in the library

A glimpse at the fabulous internal doors

A glimpse at the drawing room.

A glimpse at the Oak Room

Medicine bottles

The hot water bottle

Bloomers!

A glimpse at the rustic bridge

A glimpse at the hermitage

A glimpse at the top pool

The cedar of Lebonan

The ha ha

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

Museum Musings

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

Museum Musings

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 Museum, Oak Road, West Bromwich - 0121 553 0759

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Play area at Oak House

 

 

 

 

Oak House family fun

Oak House family Fun


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Find out about general opening times, facilities, directions and other information about Oak House Museum.

Haden Hill House Museum, off Barrs Road, Cradley Heath - 01384 569 444

 

Museum assistant Anne Willetts and visitor services officer Alison Hyatt prepare for the VE Day 70th anniversary event at Haden Hill House Museum

 

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Find out about general opening times, facilities, directions and other information about Haden Hill House and Old Hall.

Bromwich Hall - The Manor House Museum, Hall Green Road, West Bromwich, 0121 588 2985

 

Aerial view of manor

 

 

Find out about general opening times, facilities and other information about the Manor House Museum.

Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery, Holyhead Road - 0121 556 0683

 

 

 

Find out about general opening times, facilities and other information about Wednesbury Museum. 

The Arts Cafe at Central Sixth , West Bromwich

 

 

Galton Valley Canal Museum, Smethwick, B66 1BA

Galton Valley

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

14th March

11th April - Enjoy our Easter trail for younger visitors and get a small chocolate egg for completing the trail.

9th May

13th June

11th July - Enjoy the heritage boat at the pumping station

8th August

12th September

19th September

10th October

Bishop Asbury Cottage

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.

Join us!

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!