England´s best small visitor attraction (2006) provides a journey of discovery into one of the most common substances on earth and features live glass blowing demonstrations, multi-media shows, underground tunnels, galleries and special exhibitions.
St Helens is one of the most famous glassmaking cities in the world.
You can experience the fascinating skills of our resident glassblowers as they create beautifully shaped decorative pieces from molten glass. Using traditional methods and tools this ancient craft is brought to life in our very own working ´Hot Glass Studio´. Be amazed as they take molten glass straight from the intense heat of the ´glory hole´ and then blow it into a variety of designs, in brilliant colours and finishes.
‘Glass Revolution’, our state-of-the-art 3D theatre show hurtles you into an amazing journey through time and space! Experience how this one magical material has changed our world forever and plays a vital part in shaping our future. Feel the wind in your face as helicopter´s fly past and duck as World War II explodes around you!
The ‘Glass Roots’ interactive gallery houses a nationally important glass collection which contains rare and beautiful pieces from ancient Egypt, medieval times, the Venetians, through to 20th Century American.
Find out more about the history of glass:
Why was glass more valuable than precious stones to the ancient Egyptians?
What glassmaking secrets would the Venetians kill to protect?
What scary glassmaking creatures lived in German woods?
´Earth into Light´ is the heritage gallery at The World of Glass. Visit a Victorian schoolroom and an old glassmaker´s parlour and realise how much easier life is for us today!
One of the highlights at The World of Glass is the Victorian Cone Building the amazing labyrinth of tunnels beneath. This is a unique Victorian glassmaking furnace - the very spot where world history was made. Let Joe, a glassmaker from 1887, tell you how the making of glass for windows was revolutionised by the Pilkington Company. You´ll hear about dodgy dealings, near-disasters, and how millions of people welcomed the final result.
The tunnels lay forgotten for many years and were rediscovered and painstakingly restored by Lancaster University archaeologists. Explore the tunnels for yourself and see how they helped create a fantastically more efficient furnace that inspired the way that glass is made today. True 19th Century genius in action!