Birmingham’s historic Pen Museum celebrates the city’s instrumental role in expanding communication and literacy worldwide. Set in a 19th-century Renaissance-style factory that once manufactured the majority of the world’s pens, the museum offers educational exhibits and interactive workshops.
Enter the building to learn about the history of the pen trade and the evolution of pens, from steel nibs to fountain pens. In the pen room—a re-creation of a pen factory—put yourself in the shoes of a 19th-century factory worker and try making a steel nib using traditional tools. You’ll also see a vast collection of nibs from different factories and eras. To save time at the entrance, purchase your ticket online in advance.
Things to Know Before You Go
The museum is a must for literature and history buffs.
Wheelchair access is limited in some areas.
You can purchase souvenirs, pens, and calligraphy equipment at the gift shop.
How to Get There
Set in the historic Jewellery Quarter, the Pen Museum is located on Frederick Street and is easily accessible by car, train, or bus. Take bus 101 from the city center and get off on Frederick Street just outside the Pen Museum. Or, ride the train to the Jewellery Quarter station on Vyse Street and walk to the museum from there.
When to Get There
The Pen Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 4pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. The museum is closed on Monday and certain holidays. Check the museum’s website for information on calligraphy workshops and other classes.
Calligraphy Classes and Workshops
Whether you just want an overview of calligraphy or you’re ready to delve deeper into the art form, numerous workshops at the Pen Museum can help you get started or enhance your skills. Regulars can join the Birmingham Scribes and attend group meetings, workshops, and self-directed sessions. Members are even invited to display their work in rotating temporary exhibits at the museum.
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