Broseley Pipeworks Museum
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
Shropshire TF12 5LS
One of the unusual museums to be found at the UNESCO World Heritage Ironbridge Gorge Site in Shropshire, England is the Broseley Clay Tobacco Pipe Works. This wonderfully preserved time capsule has changed little since the factory was abandoned in the 1950s.
At the height of its production, the Broseley Pipeworks was the home of one of the most prolific clay tobacco pipe makers in Britain, exporting all over the world.
The museum preserves the details of the industry of clay tobacco pipe making and has a fascinating display of clay tobacco pipes including the Churchwarden and Dutch Long Straw pipes.
Pipes of clay were first smoked in England after the introduction of tobacco from the American Colonies in the late 16th century. Throughout history, the fashion for smoking waxed and waned.
Clay pipes came back into fashion again in the 19th century along with industrial revival and population growth. By then Dutch, French and German designers as well as English were competing for attention in a huge world market where production was also elevated to a grand form of art.
Almost every aspect of everyday life was celebrated on a clay pipe including: plants, animals, birds, Coats of Arms, Royal events, names of Inns, Masonic symbols, sporting events, advertising, heads of celebrities and even characters from mythology.
By the 1930s clay pipes were being discarded in favour of the more easily transportable cigarette. Clay pipes were easily cracked and broken especially during wars.
Clay pipe smoking became the hobby of collectors, nostalgic smokers and re-enactors of times past.
Summer Opening (May-September):
7 days a week: 13:00 – 17:00 hours.
For details go to Web: Ironbridge/ Opening Times
There are two options – tickets for a single visit to a museum or the fantastic value Annual Passport Ticket which allows unlimited visits to all the sites. For more information and up to date prices go to Web: Ironbridge/ Tickets
- Discover the ancient industry of clay tobacco pipe making;
- Explore the factory and view the tools that were used;
- A video provides an intriguing insight into the skilled art of clay tobacco pipe making.
You should allow 1 hour for a visit to Broseley Pipeworks Museum. The museum is one of ten award-winning museums at the Ironbridge Gorge site.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (01952 433 424
The Ironbridge Gorge is in Shropshire, 5 miles (8km) south of Telford Town Centre and is well signposted from the M54 motorway, Junction 4. When you leave M54 follow the brown and white tourism signs for Ironbridge Gorge. As you get closer to the Museums follow the specific signs: For Jackfield Tile Museum, Broseley Pipeworks Museum, Museum of The Gorge and The Ironbridge & Tollhouse follow ‘Ironbridge Museums’.
There is car parking at the Museum. Sat Nav for the car park is TF12 5LX. One ticket, costing around £2.00, is required to park at most of the Museum car parks.
Google Map - Broseley Pipeworks Museum