Housing one of the world's finest collections of Pre-Raphaelite art, with works by Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Holman Hunt, Birmingham's principal museum and gallery is located in a stunning Victorian building. The museum displays works by British and European artists, along with collections of ceramics, sculpture, silver and stained glass. You can also find archaeological, ethnographic and local history exhibits, including Egyptian mummies.
As the only surviving example of the once prevalent Back to Backs of Birmingham, these historic buildings are a rare treasure. During the 19th Century, a number of buildings were built back to back around a common courtyard to meet the demands of the rapidly growing population of the city as a result of industrialization. These houses were inhabited by the working class who managed to survive in these cramped quarters. Each of the four Back to Backs around the courtyard has been restored and refurnished as a representation of four different time periods, giving visitors an extremely rare opportunity to take a peek into the lives of the ordinary working men and women of the 1840s, 1870s, 1930s and 1970s. Only a few slots are available each day and prior reservations are a must if you wish to visit these homes.
Located around 9 miles from Shakespeare's birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon, Compton Verney is an art gallery set in a sprawling area with over 800 pieces of art in its princely collection. It exhibits works from international, national and local artists and even educates people in the appreciation of art. It is possible to hire the gallery for workshops, wedding receptions or as a mellow conference space.To promote an artistic culture and make art more inclusive, discounts are given to senior citizens, students, families and the unemployed.
In the heart of the city, is the house where Shakespeare was born in 1564. The entrance to the house is via the visitors' center. Here you will find the highly acclaimed Shakespeare Exhibition. This comprehensive display superbly illustrates the Bard's life and career in the city. Having walked through the exhibition, you emerge into a garden laid out with flowers, trees and shrubs that were familiar to Shakespeare and that were mentioned in his work. The house itself has been faithfully reconstructed and now offers a fascinating insight into Shakespeare's life as a child. Rooms have been furnished as accurately as possible with replicas of 16th Century everyday objects, furniture and textiles having been commissioned. Take yourself back in time and reflect upon the tales that began here.
This award-winning museum in a Tudor period mansion has interactive exhibits, Shakespeare tours, night-time ghost tours, and organized school visits that bring 16th-century Elizabethan England to life. Visitors can take a seat at a period dining table, rest on a monarch’s bed and throne, and listen for spirits by candlelight.
Hall's Croft was named after Dr. John Hall, husband of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna. It is a fine example of a gabled half-timbered house built in the 16th Century. Notice its three stories—the upper two of which are overhanging—which make it quite typical of its time. While you are here, take a look at Dr. Hall's consulting room together with the exhibition featuring medical treatments used in Shakespeare's time. Also on display are some superb 16th- and 17th-century paintings and furnishings, while the walled garden, with its fragrant herb garden, is a particular delight.
Experience the Falstaff Experience for an informative and theatrical living history lesson. You will be met and entertained by staff in period costume and you can have your photograph taken alongside characters in the mock-up cottages and shops. Items of interest here include the punishment stocks, the music room and a Gothic collection of all things ghastly and glorious!
The Heritage Centre, Henley-in-Arden's earliest recorded house, provides a great local history lesson. Visitors can take a look at a model of the Norman Castle which once stood there, find out about the ancient Market Cross, learn about the town criers and look at a chronicle of the mouth-watering ice cream for which Henley-in-Arden is renowned.