When the proprietors of the Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firm decided to retire in 1981 they ceased trading and locked the door, unaware they would be leaving a time capsule for future generations. Tools were left strewn on benches; grubby overalls were hung on the coat hooks; and dirty teacups were abandoned alongside jars of marmite and jam on the shelf.
In the eighty years before its closure little changed with the working practices or equipment used within the family-owned business. Even the décor had more in common with early 20th century trends than a thriving business in the early 1980s. Today the factory is a remarkable museum, which tells the story of the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.
What will I see at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter?
Visit to the Smith & Pepper factory by guided tour. Allow one hour for guided tour. Last tour approximately one hour before closing. The maximum number of people on each tour is 18.
The museum shop, which stocks a range of locally made designer-maker jewellery.
Live demonstrations at the jeweller’s bench showing how the Smith & Pepper bangle was made.
The vast array of original tools, stamps and machinery that remains inside the factory.
The museum is open all year round, but entrance to the factory is by guided tour only. School parties and pre-booked groups are welcome.
Admission & Opening Times
Children under 16 FREE
Annual multi site pass £16
Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am – 4.00pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Open Bank Holiday Mondays. Closed 25th, 26th December and 1st January.
Please contact the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter for further details
The Pen Museum
Located in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter The Pen Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of the steel pen trade that was unique to the city of Birmingham.
Few people are aware of the enormous contribution made by this trade to world literacy. The need to replace the quill pen with a more convenient writing implement led Birmingham engineers to pioneer the development of mechanically produced steel pens which were more durable and long lasting.
Admission & Opening Times
Admission to the Museum is FREE Donations are appreciated.
The Pen Museum is run entirely by volunteers and relies on membership, donations and sales to run the museum. (Group Bookings by Prior Arrangement suggested donation £2 per head)
Opening Times: Open every day (Except 25th and 26th December) Monday to Saturday 11am to 4pm Sunday 1pm to 4pm
Please contact the The Pen Museum for further details
J. W. Evans Silver Factory
English Heritage stepped in to rescue J. W. Evans Silver Factory in 2008. With the completion of the repairs programme, the site opened to the public in summer 2011.
Established in 1881, J. W. Evans is one of the most complete surviving historic factories in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. To walk into the factory today is to enter a lost industrial world.
Behind the frontage of four terraced houses, the workshops retain their original drop stamps and fly presses. They are packed with thousands of dies for the manufacture of silverware, as well as the whole of the working equipment, stock and records of the business.
Tours of J. W. Evans are available on a limited number of days throughout Summer 2012. The size of the property means these are limited to 10 people per tour, and must be booked in advance. Tours cost £7.50 per person.
To book, please call Customer Services – 0870 333 1181