Archaeologists to dig for glass treasures at Glasshouse site

L-r - student Daniel Handsaker, Mike Perkins from Amblecote History Society, Kate Page-Smith from Nexus Heritage, Paul Gawdan - assistant principal. Buy photo: 061444M

L-r - student Daniel Handsaker, Mike Perkins from Amblecote History Society, Kate Page-Smith from Nexus Heritage, Paul Gawdan - assistant principal. Buy photo: 061444M Buy this photo

First published in Local

TREASURES from the past could be unearthed when excavation works get underway at an old Stourbridge glassworks turned educational centre ahead of a £1million revamp project.

Archaeological and heritage consultants Nexus Heritage will begin opening up works on the car park and courtyard of the Glasshouse College and Arts Centre ahead of the third phase of redevelopment works to improve the site, off Wollaston Road, which was previously home to Webb Corbett glass works and later Royal Doulton.

The latest project, funded by the Ruskin Mill Land Trust, The Heritage Lottery and The European Regional Development Fund, will include the completion of the next phase of commercial workshops, a new visitor reception gallery and activity centre plus a remodelled and landscaped car park.

But before building gets underway in April, Cheshire-based Nexus Heritage will start work on Monday February 17 on the car park area of the site where there are lingering remains of Coalbourne Hill House - which is believed to have been home to manager of the old glassworks.

A second phase of work, which will excavate the footings of an old glass cone at the back of the college, will start on Monday March 10 for two weeks.

Members of the public are invited to get involved with the second archaeological dig with experts from Nexus Heritage who, along with staff from the Webb Corbett Visitor Centre, are compiling a list of volunteers.

Ollie Cheney, principal of the Glasshouse College, said “Involving the local community in exploring the site's heritage and culture is a fantastic opportunity and we look forward to leaning more about what we may potentially uncover in the process.”

At the end of the project there will be an open weekend for the general public to view the findings.

Anyone wishing to get involved can call glass heritage officer Ian Dury at the Webb Corbett Visitor Centre on 01384 399419.

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