What do an underground railway station, a hotel bar, a hospital ward and a butcher’s shop have in common? Their tiles. At Jackfield Tile Museum, all of these places are recreated, showing the stunning tile-work which was the hall-mark of their design.
Whilst it is tempting to think that tiles are rather old-fashioned, it is worth remembering that the space shuttle uses ceramic tiles on its surface to protect it from the heat of re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. As the displays at the museum show, fashions may change, but tiles have never really gone out of fashion. Tiles are all around us, but we may not notice them as we once did – modern tiling is much more plain than once was fashionable, as you will see. Compare Pugin’s tile designs for the Houses of Parliament to the ones in your bathroom.
The museum is housed in an original tile factory, and the gas-lit tile showroom and offices are preserved for you to explore. Its galleries show the development of the huge variety of tiles, and tiles are still made here in modern facilities. You can also buy tiles of practically every decorative type at the museum’s shop.