Dating back to the 1750s, the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is home to over five hundred jewellery companies. The continuing quality of craftsmanship in the Quarter means that the traditional jewellery-making methods have barely changed over the years.
Today, the Quarter offers a true blend of modern architecture and boasts over 200 historic listed buildings. One of the more famous buildings to be found in the Quarter is the Birmingham Assay Office, with its renowned anchor symbol. After being resident in Newhall Street since 1877, the Assay Office moved into a brand new glass-fronted building in 2015. This provided a modern touch to the traditional act of hallmarking.
English Heritage recently described the Quarter as a “unique historic environment”, and if you get a chance to get hold of their brochure about the area before you visit, it lists many of the best sites to see.
The variety on offer and the Quarter’s fame means that people flock from far and wide to discover their perfect piece of jewellery.
On a recent visit, we counted a little over one hundred different jewellery stores in this unique setting, almost all specialising in wedding jewellery. You might wonder how all these stores can survive with so much competition, but in fact, the variety on offer and the Quarter’s fame means that people flock from far and wide to discover their perfect piece of jewellery.
It’s not just the jewellers that provide this unique pulling power. There are now a variety of excellent bars and restaurants to break up the search for your sparkling Diamond.
It is said that the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter produces almost half of all jewellery created in the UK. Some of its claims to fame include creating the captain’s whistle for the Titanic and also the current FA Cup.
On Vittoria Street, in the heart of the Quarter, you will find the largest Jewellery School in Europe, founded in 1890. Nearby, on Frederick Street, you will find the Pen Museum, where you can discover the fascinating history of pen making in the region.
After visiting the Pen Museum, next on the list to visit would be St Paul’s Square, the last remaining Georgian square in the UK, and also the Jewellery Quarter’s fantastic museum in Vyse Street. After the museum, get your camera out and make sure to take a snap of the Quarter’s famous clock, which you will discover metres from the entrance of the museum. This was erected in 1903 as a tribute to Joseph Chamberlain, who was Mayor of Birmingham in the 1870s.
PLACES TO VISIT
MUSEUM OF THE JEWELLERY QUARTER
Step inside the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter to glimpse a remarkably preserved time capsule of the traditional working life in Birmingham’s famous
VISIT MUSEUM WEBSITE
THE PEN MUSEUM
Did you know that in the 19th century, over seventy-five per cent of the world’s pens were crafted in the Jewellery Quarter? Discover the story of Birmingham’s important role in the information revolution at the Pen Museum.
VISIT MUSEUM WEBSITE
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