British Glass Foundation

Find out more

Charity details

Registered address
Peartree Lodge Grazebrook Indstl. Park,Hulbert Drive
Dudley,West Midlands
DY2 0XW

Phone
01384 217984

Email us

Visit our website

Charity number
1139252

Homepage

Preserving the 400 year history of Stourbridge Glass.  

The British Glass Foundation is a new charity created in response to the prospective closure of Broadfield House Glass Museum.
The Foundation -
seeks to represent all other charities, organisations and individuals that have an interest in preserving our glass heritage.
continues to raise the profile of the importance, locally, nationally and internationally, of the Dudley glass collections and archives.
aims to work closely in partnership with Dudley Council, the principal custodian of the glass collections, to accomplish its objectives.
is exploring other means to provide access to the collections and is liaising with the University of Wolverhampton to produce a digital record of the collections and archive.
The Unique Importance Of Broadfield House Glass Museum
The glass collections on display at Broadfield Houses Glass Museum, and in store at Himley Hall, represent one of the finest holdings of British 18th, 19th and 20th century glass in the world.  Numbering some ten thousand items, the Collection includes stunning examples from every major period of glass production in this country, the highlight being cameo glass, the speciality of Stourbridge factories at the end of the 19th century.  The Museum has benefited from major bequests especially that of Michael Parkington which extended and completed Broadfield’s collection of 18th century glass.  The Museum has also saved iconic collections including that of the great 20th century glass designer Alexander Hardie Williamson.
The Museum also owns important glass archive material e.g. pattern books from Stevens & Williams, Richardson’s and Thomas Webb & Sons, together with two major glass libraries from Robert J. Charleston, former Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and H. Jack Haden, a local historian who amassed a valuable collection of local Stourbridge material, as well as many other documents, letters, photographs and films.
The glass library owned by the Museum is one of the finest in the country and includes the complete microfiche catalogue of original glass catalogues owned by the Corning Museum of Glass in America, the only museum in this country to own this valuable research facility.  Glass making equipment is collected to complement the glass and the archive collections.  Notable pieces include the only surviving “Pull-Up” machine invented by John Northwood I in the 1880’s to decorate glass ware at Stevens & Williams, and a rare complete example of a Bohemian copper-wheel engraving lathe which was used by the great Joseph Keller.  In the 1980’s the Museum rescued the  foundations of an entire 17th century glass furnace from the estate of Sir Charles Wolseley near Rugeley, Staffordshire.  Since it opened in 1980 Broadfield has pursued a vibrant and exciting policy of temporary exhibitions, often drawn from European and American collections and complements them with erudite and learned catalogues.  This incredible combination of glass, archives, equipment and an active educational policy, justify Broadfield’s claim to be the “The Museum of The British Glass Industry”.  
Even now, some 400 years after glassmaking began in Stourbridge, its work continues.

The Foundation -

The British Glass Foundation (BGF) is a charity that was created in response to the venerable but ageing Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswinford being deemed no longer fit for purpose as the showcase of the Stourbridge Glass collection. It was felt imperative that this internationally renowned assemblage of some of the finest glass ever made should retain its integrity and provenance in a new and permanent home. The selection of the site in Wordsley, right in the heart of the Stourbridge Glass industry and the former factory of the legendary Stuart Crystal, proved an inspired choice for this spectacular new home which, after wide consultation amongst the community it serves, has been named "The White House Cone Museum of Glass"

 

In addition to its responsibilities towards the collection, BGF seeks to represent all other charities, organisations and individuals that have an interest in preserving and promoting our wonderful glass heritage. It continues to raise the profile of the importance, locally, nationally and internationally, of both the glass collection and its associated archives and is active in encouraging impetus within the industry to secure and develop its future as a beacon of excellence for the long term. It has worked, and will continue to work, closely with its partners especially Complex Development Projects Ltd, owners of the White House site and Dudley MBC who are the principal custodian of the collection, to accomplish its aims. BGF has an ongoing remit to explore all available means to provide universal access to the collections and is currently liaising with the University of Wolverhampton to compile a comprehensive digital database. 

 

Details of all of BGF’s activities including information on donations, volunteering opportunities, the free-to-subscribe email bulletin GlassCuts and, of course, all the latest news from the White House Cone can be found on our website

The Unique Importance Of The Collection

The glass collections currently in store at Himley Hall, represent one of the finest holdings of British 18th, 19th and 20th century glass in the world. Numbering some ten thousand items, the Collection includes stunning examples from every major period of glass production in this country, the highlight being cameo glass, the speciality of Stourbridge factories at the end of the 19th century.  The collection has benefited from major bequests especially that of Michael Parkington which extended and completed Broadfield’s collection of 18th century glass.  The collection includes iconic pieces including exaples of the great 20th century glass designer Alexander Hardie Williamson.
The collection also includes important glass archive material e.g. pattern books from Stevens & Williams, Richardson’s and Thomas Webb & Sons, together with two major glass libraries from Robert J. Charleston, former Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and H. Jack Haden, a local historian who amassed a valuable collection of local Stourbridge material, as well as many other documents, letters, photographs and films.
Glass making equipment is collected to complement the glass and the archive collections.  Notable pieces include the only surviving “Pull-Up” machine invented by John Northwood I in the 1880’s to decorate glass ware at Stevens & Williams, and a rare complete example of a Bohemian copper-wheel engraving lathe which was used by the great Joseph Keller.  In the 1980’s the foundations of an entire 17th century glass furnace from the estate of Sir Charles Wolseley near Rugeley, Staffordshire were rescued.  


Even now, some 400 years after glassmaking began in Stourbridge, work continues.

Support us

If you'd like to support British Glass Foundation just click the links below:

Gallery