Forge Mill Needle Museum and Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre

Forge Mill Needle Museum
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The Forge Mill Needle Museum is an industrial museum of the Redditch needle making and fishing tackle industries, housed in the original mill buildings. It features water-powered working machinery in a unique needle scouring mill.

A regional centre for contemporary textiles, the Museum's annual temporary exhibitions programme includes at least one or two textiles exhibitions as well as local history and during the summer season, family orientated exhibitions.

The Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre, which is set in an original reconstructed 16th Century barn, shows many of the finds that have been excavated over the years, and consists of a purpose built heritage centre with outer courtyard.

The exhibits show what archaeologists have discovered about the life of the Cistercian monks of Bordesley - from how they worshiped, to the clothes they wore, to the illnesses they suffered.

Bordesley Abbey had one of the earliest metal working mills in the country and you can see the preserved timbers from the mill on display, as well as many of the metal items that would have been made there.

The Visitor Centre includes a gift shop where a selection of souvenir guide books for both the Abbey and the Needle Mill may be purchased. A wide selection of needles are also available from the shop. A room in the Centre is available for hire to small groups. Please enquire for details.

The Museum site features a grassed area with picnic tables for visitors to use and enjoy.

Venue Type:

Museum, Industrial heritage site, Heritage site

Opening hours

February - March and October - November:
Tuesday - Friday 11.00am - 4.00pm
Weekends 1.00pm - 4.00pm

April - September:
Monday - Friday 11.00am - 4.30pm
Weekends 11.00am - 4.00pm

The waterwheel and original Victorian mill machinery will be working on Tuesday afternoons and weekends, and also for schools and group visits - barring mechanical problems!

Admission charges

Adults: £5.10
Seniors: £3.90
Children: £1.70
Family Ticket: £11.40
Reddicard Concessions
Special group package available on request.

Industrial machinery. Needles, needle packets and ephemera. Archives. Photographs. Fishing tackle. Fishing rods. Catalogues. Archaeology.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Industry, Medicine, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce, Archaeology

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.


  • 30 August — 27 October 2019 *on now

We all seek sanctuary, but what are we looking for? A Place to feel safe? A place to find solace? A place to heal? Is this place outside in nature? Or in a building? Or deep within the self?

“I have lived alongside chronic depression for most of my adult life and finding a place of sanctuary has been part of my journey to healing and living a good life in spite of this. In this exhibition (through the medium of textiles) I share my own places of sanctuary – the places that keep me well and promote healing, health and happiness. I hope some of that peace rubs off on the viewer as they share my sanctuary with me.” Hilary Beattie.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Museum admissions apply


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Bordesley Abbey School - Visits Activity Pack (Ks2/3)

Activity pack to accompany a school visit, some suggestions of how it could be used independentley in the classroom. Contains colour photographs, worksheets and information for teachers.


  • Forge Mill Needle Museum
  • Redditch Borough Council

How to obtain

Charged. Contact the Museum for details - phone: 01527 62509

A Brief History of Needle Making Past and Present

Resource pack for students of the local industry and particularly useful for textiles students on City & Guilds courses.


  • Gloger, JoAnn
  • Chesters, Patrick


  • Forge Mill Museum

How to obtain

£4.50. Contact the Museum - phone: 01527 62509

Archaeology and the Abbey Meadows

Resource pack for teachers, with line drawings, photographs, execellet ideas for activities in class and on-site.


  • Forge Mill Museum Trust
  • Hereford & Worcester County Museum Service
  • Wass, Stephen
  • Wass, Verna
  • Mead, Barry
  • Newman, Mark
  • Gaffney, Vincent
  • Ashby, Bobbie


  • Forge Mill Museum

How to obtain

£2.50. Contact the Museum - phone: 01527 62509

Victorian Working Life: From Workhouse to Needle Mill

Resource pack to support a visit, but can be used independently in the classroom. Contains information for teachers, worksheets, photographs and documents.


  • Forge Mill Needle Museum
  • Redditch Borough Council

How to obtain

Charged. Contact the Museum for details - phone: 01527 62509

Forge Mill Needle Museum and Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre
Needle Mill Lane
B98 8HY




01527 62509


01527 464006

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.