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“A surprise gem in Birmingham”
Review of Pen Museum

Pen Museum
Ranked #20 of 312 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Set in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, The Pen Museum is unique in the UK. It celebrates the legacy of Birmingham's 19th century steel pen trade, where mass production first made mass communication possible. And through exports, made an enormous contribution to global literacy. In effect, this is where the world learned to write. Our museum is based in an 1863 Florentine Renaissance style former pen factory; 1 factory of 129 in Birmingham that once manufactured the majority of the world's pens. The Museum holds regular calligraphy workshops and learning sessions.
Reviewed 26 May 2018 via mobile

I took my mom here as she was born in the Jewellery Quarter and so we go back sometimes for a mooch about, to see the museums and for my mom to reminisce. This museum had been there a while and we thought we might as well give it a go. We weren't expecting much being a museum about pens (yawn)...but how wrong we were! We were lucky to have a really lovely bloke as our guide who was so interesting, knowledgeable and funny. He told us not only about the pens but the buildings and the area. It really was fascinating and we spent far longer there than we imagined we'd need to...and I'd be more than happy to go back in the future.

Thank Fays_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel E, Administrator at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for your review. We are very pleased you had a good experience.

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Reviews (638)
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All reviews
"jewellery quarter"
in 81 reviews
"nib making"
in 28 reviews
"ink wells"
in 19 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 21 reviews
"knowledgeable volunteers"
in 9 reviews
"treasure trove"
in 6 reviews
"interesting place"
in 10 reviews
"industrial history"
in 6 reviews
"on display"
in 16 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 10 reviews
"two hours"
in 11 reviews
"fascinating insight"
in 6 reviews
"great visit"
in 8 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 6 reviews
"coffin works"
in 8 reviews
"nibs"
in 141 reviews
"calligraphy"
in 74 reviews
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19 - 23 of 638 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2018 via mobile

It‘s a interesting place. It was a 10 minute walk from my hotel, so I tought I‘ll visit this museum.

Thank Denis L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel E, Administrator at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for your review. We are very pleased you had a good experience.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2018

A revelation about the intracies of pen nib manufacturing, the infinite variety of types, the working conditions and the impact of the pen nib on the world.
The associated paraphernalia connected with writing was amazing.
Larry's demonstration of the process made the visit - thank you.
The displays are cramped, best pick a time when there are only a few visitors to make the most of the actual nib making part of the visit.(phone and ask if Larry will be there too!)
Why not have the Michael Portillo TV visit on one of your videos?

Thank olivercottages
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Thank you so much for your review. I'm very pleased you had a good visit. We're currently reviewing our Audio Visual display pieces and we appreciate your comment about our featured documentary.

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Reviewed 12 May 2018 via mobile

This place is not big. It has 3 rooms only. Each room is packed with ornaments & equipment & small machines that are related to the Pen era.

There was a male guide in there, who was volunteering. He showed us the nibs, told us the history. I didn’t know how hard those people during that time had worked in the factories for pens. Quite an interesting place.

The small museum is located diagonally opposite to the Sikh Temple if I’m not wrong. I took the tram from Grand station, not far, just 2 pence for 2-way. Entrance to museum is 5 pound, like a donation to upkeep the place. There is only a small sign outside the building so don’t miss it. They only occupied the lower floor.

If you are in Birmingham, good to visit the museum. The visit only takes about 45minutes.

Around that area, there are lots of cafes too.

Thank Tifiny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Thanks for your review. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

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Reviewed 10 May 2018

I visied with my 10 year old whilst in the area. She was very intrigued about the pens having just started using one recently at school.
The 4 areas are
1. a display area explaining what it was like working in the pen nib industry
2. a factory setting with tons of pens & pen ephemera plus machinery so she could be shown the process of nib making. At the end of it she had her own nib as done by her with the help of the guide.
3. a further room with more items relating to the pen making industry.

It was a lovely hour or so as within the areas there are places where all types of pen nibs can be tried at a desk so she had ink all over her fingers afterwards!!! She seemed to really enjoy it & it was a great illustration of life in the industry during its heyday

Thank Claire F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Thanks for your review. We're really pleased you both had a good time and hope to see you again soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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