Former Dudley museum given Grade II listing

The former Dudley Museum and Art Gallery has been listed at Grade II by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England, giving it greater protection and recognition.

The building, owned by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, was originally a free library, art gallery and art school when it opened in 1884. 

Following a grant gifted by Andrew Carnegie, a new library was opened on the opposite side of the road in 1909 when the building became a geological museum, in 1912.

The art school, too, was popular and it was here in 1920 that the painter Percy Shakespeare began his studies.

Shakespeare went on to exhibit at Royal Academy and Paris Salon on numerous occasions before dying in 1943, aged just 37.

The building was closed in 2016 and the collections have been moved to the Dudley Archives and Local History Centre. The council is in talks to re-purpose the building. Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise at Dudley Council, said: 

“Dudley is a hive of regeneration and heritage activity, and we are delighted to have yet another Grade II listing in the town centre.

“In recent years we have overseen an exciting programme of repair and architectural reinstatement to key historic buildings in the town, the ongoing development of The Metro rail line, and the opening of a multi-million-pound state of the art leisure centre, the National Innovation Centre and The Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology. 

“Although the newly listed building is currently unoccupied, we are in exciting talks with third parties for it to be repurposed and brought back into active use. The building also features in our recently launched architectural heritage trail and a behind the doors online tour is available at”

Tim Bridges, conservation advisor at The Victorian Society, which applied for the building to be listed, added:

“Here at the Victorian Society we are delighted by the news that our application to protect the Dudley Museum and Art Gallery with a Grade II listing has now been granted.

“As the Conservation Adviser for the West Midlands, I am particularly pleased that all our good work has paid off, and that the community in and around Dudley will have a magnificent Victorian building to enjoy, in new ways, into the future for many generations to come.”


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