Oak House Museum – West Bromwich – Photos

Oak House Museum

Oak House Museum

Oak House Museum is a wonderful museum quite near where I live.  I had never even heard of it, never mind visited it, before this week.  What a treat it was!  It’s a 17th century farmer’s house which is classified as a Grade II listed building.

Just look at those long chimneys!  Apparently they were not necessary – just built tall so that the house would dominate everything around it.  It certainly works, because you can’t help noticing them.

The plaque says 1488

The plaque says 1488

The house was probably built well before the 17th century.  I saw a plaque quite high up on the building which says 1488, although the guide assured us that it probably wasn’t correct.

Apparently there used to be a large oak tree in front of the building and it was surrounded by an oak woodland, so it’s likely that that’s how it came by its name.

Inside Oak House Museum

Wonderful chair

Wonderful chair

The interior amazed me – a total delight.  Lots and lots of wood panelling with the most amazingly intricate designs carved into both the panels and the furniture.  The inside the building remains dark – both small windows and dark walls, so my photo isn’t very clear.  However I hope you can see just how much detail had been included on the back of this chair.

Felted table topper

Felted table topper

I have never done any felting although I have seen some wonderful examples of it at shows.  This felted table topper interested me – it had such a lovely homespun feel to it.

You could make a lovely quilted wall hanging using that basic design.

Rug table covering

Rug table covering

Interestingly, most of the tables were covered in what we would assume were floor rugs.  (I hope that they hadn’t been on the floor first!).  Apparently rugs were so expensive that they were displayed on tables to show them off.

Parlour bed

Parlour bed

Oak House Museum beds

Many of the rooms were made up to show what they would have been like in years gone by.  The contrast in the beds was fascinating.

This four poster bed would probably have been used by the owners of the house or their family.  They had a rope base and then three or more mattresses on top.  Doesn’t it look snug and cosy!

Basic bed

Basic bed

Now take a look at the bed in the servants’ rooms.  This bed looks incredibly uncomfortable.  I hope that they had some kind of straw mattress or something to lay over the rope net.  Just think how welcome a quilt would have been.

In addition, this room had shelves of cheeses which were maturing and needed turning over every day.

I really enjoyed my visit to Oak House Museum.  All the rooms had audio or video explaining more about the room and how it was used.  The staff were enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable.  And the museum is free!  Well done Sandwell and Dudley Council.

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  1. I Googled the Oak House and found more photos to enjoy. One visitor wrote that the furniture was on loan from a museum. I was especially interested in your photo of the scissors so I searched around and found this historical information on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scissors#History

    Hope it works when you click on link.

    • Hi Claire. Now that you mention it, I think the guide did tell us that some of the furniture is on loan from the V&A Museum in London. Thanks for the scissors link. I was given two pairs of scissors that I can’t identify, so I’ll have to see if I can find them on the Wikipedia page. If not I’ll have to post a photo of them next week and hope that someone can identify them for me.

  2. Carole W, Berkshire says:

    A lovely project as usual Rose, for which many thanks. I seem to recall that beds of that period often had a rope base and if you’ve ever been wished good night ‘sleep tight’ it refers to the ropes, if they were tight fine, if not…oops not such a good night! Keep up the good work Rose, we all enjoy your weekly emails.

  3. elizacross2003 says:

    Great Idea again Rose, from beautiful fabric to the little butterfly, So many possibilities I can see in my Stash. Your description of Oak House Museum makes me wan to hop on a plane and visit ,

    • Thanks, Eliza. It doesn’t take much fabric so I’m sure you’ll have something suitable in your stash. The wonderful thing about Oak House was that all those treasures were free to visit.

  4. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Thank you for the photos. I bet this museum is even better in person. Loved everything about it. Thank you for sharing. The rugs on the table were different, too bad if someone spilled something, How to clean it??
    Thank you for your adventure and including me.

    • Hi Sandra. You’re right, of course – my photos don’t do justice to the museum. It really was a lovely experience – perhaps made more special because it was completely unexpected.

  5. sheila Lymn says:

    Hi Rose once again an interesting “visit” for us to enjoy,Charlott has been felting for a change from quilting and for Easter made us all a brightly coloured felt sheep it looks as though the wool could be used for Jacob’s coat of many colours ,
    I shall forward this week project on so she can see the table covering, Thank you for the useful Tote bag love and hugs Sheila xx

    • thanks, Sheila. Those felt sheep sound amazing – you are a very talented family! hope she likes the felted table covering.

  6. Cynthia Ash says:

    It really looks an interesting place to visit. Those rugs on the tables fascinate me!

  7. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience.

  8. Colleen McKinlay says:

    Absolutely gorgeous home. So enjoyed the pics of the beds. Those poor servents. If that is a farmer’s house ….mmmm….I must send you a picture of a Canadian Farmer’s abode at the turn of the century. Once again, another fascinating piece of England’s history. Thank you Rose.
    Colleen McKinlay

    • Hi Colleen. It’s what they call a yeoman farmer’s house. Apparently that means a posh farmer. The guides gave me the impression that the family wanted to flaunt their wealth.

  9. Valerie Henry says:

    Rose, I just love it when you post pics of your trips. I most likely will never make it “across the pond”, but do so enjoy your trips. Keep the pics and info coming. I get to see things that most don’t.. even if it is vicariously through you.

    • Hi Valerie. Thanks for those kind comments. I’m so pleased that you enjoy my trips – I’m always happy when I find somewhere new to show you.