Glasshouse Phase 3 is a project which has transformed two of the previously un-refurbished buildings on the Glasshouse site. Yates’ Yard was a former storage building and now houses a site –wide reception, communal meeting space, a Heritage Interpretation Centre (somewhere where groups and visitors can be met and orientated) and two maker’s studios. The Acid House was formerly the place where cut glass was dipped to remove the sharp edges created when the glass was cut. As the name suggests it was historically full of large vats of acid. This now provides incubator and studio space for another five makers and craftspeople. The project was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. It enables the Trust to support local craftspeople in establishing their craft and business as well as providing valuable work experience for students at Glasshouse College.

The project also saw rebuilding of a canal bank wall and the creation a new car-parking area through support from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and Ruskin Mill Land Trust.

The project has completed the public facing aspects of the site which includes the Ruskin Glass Centre and the Glasshouse Arts Centre.
Through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund a programme of heritage-related activities have been provided alongside the physical building works. This has included archaeological excavations at two locations on the site – which have shown the site to have the remains of oldest known ‘industrial’ glassworks in North Western Europe and establish the location of historic glass cones and furnaces. The Activity Plan has also allowed for cleaning of a significant collection of glassblowing moulds and the collation of historic pattern books used to guide the manufacture and cutting of glass pieces.

Glasshouse College student cleaning the moulds

The Glasshouse Heritage Centre is open to the public and includes displays about glassmaking on the site and in the surrounding Stourbridge Glass Quarter. This is generally open to the public on Wednesdays to Fridays, and at least one Saturday a month. As this is reliant on volunteers to help open the Centre, we advise checking before making a specific journey to visit. The Ruskin Glass Centre is open six days a week.

We are hugely grateful to our funders for supporting the Glasshouse Phase 3 Development: National Lottery Heritage Fund, European Regional Development Fund and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.