Cast Iron Houses

Experience life in 1940 and 1968

From the austerity of 1940s Britain to a nation gripped by football fever in the 1960s, travel back two decades in just a few footsteps in our reopened Cast Iron Houses.

  • The 1940 house provides visitors a glimpse of everyday life in wartime Dudley. At the point at which the house will be set, bombing attacks will have reached as far inland as the Black Country.

  • Visitors will meet new costumed characters, including the Museum’s interpretation of Beatrice Vernon, who moved with her husband, Sgt Sidney Vernon, to Dudley in 1920.

  • The 1968 house shares a snapshot of life for the Aston family, who moved into one of the cast iron houses in Birmingham Road.

  • As visitors explore the two houses, they will be able to look around bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms. They will spot familiar brands, objects and clothing, including football paraphernalia.

About the Cast Iron Houses

The Cast Iron Houses are two semi-detached council houses that were built in the Brewery Fields Estate in Dudley in 1925.

A lack of buildings materials presented a challenge, with local authorities looking for innovative ways to build. Tipton’s Eclipse Foundry was awarded the contract, but by the time a second set of cast iron houses were built, the method proved very expensive to build at £1,000, compared to a brick equivalent which would cost £476.

As traditional building materials such as brick became more available, Dudley reverted to cheaper construction methods for its new estates, and the houses built with cast iron remained an experiment.

After being declared unfit for habitation in the 1980s, the Cast Iron Houses were taken down and moved to Black Country Living Museum.

BCLM: Forging Ahead

Our new development has been made possible thanks to our visitors, donors, Members and Patrons, and supporters including National Lottery Heritage Fund, Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Arts Council England, and West Midlands Combined Authority.