The Locksmith's House
disCOVER OUR atmospheric edwardian house
The Locksmith’s House of 54 New Road, Willenhall, is typical of the small, family run lock making businesses which once characterised the town.
Although locks were also made in nearby Wolverhampton and Walsall, the concentration of skills and domestic workshops in Willenhall gave it a reputation as the lock making centre of Britain. Even in the early 1900s, when the trade had shifted towards larger factories, backyard concerns like this one at New Road continued to survive.
The house itself dates to 1840, but the interiors are displayed as they would have looked in 1905, using much of the family’s original furniture and other belongings. The Locksmith’s House Museum opened to the public in 1987.
Since 2003, it has been managed and supported by the team at Black Country Living Museum and is open on select dates throughout the year.
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New Road was both home and workplace for the Hodson family, who rented the workshops for a time before buying the entire property in 1904. By this time, the business of ‘Richard Hodson & Sons’, which claimed to go back as far as 1792, was owned by John Hodson. He bought his wife Sarah with him, along with their son Edgar and their three daughters, Ida, Edith and Flora. When John died, Edgar continued the business of making bar padlocks and lighter locks, and latterly other activities such as stamping out spanners and supplying parts for oven doors.
You can find the Locksmith’s House at: 54 New Road, Willenhall, WV13 2DA.
Please note that parking at this venue is limited. Please ensure that you park responsibly and respect the neighbours surrounding the Locksmith’s House.
The Locksmith’s House is operated by our wonderful volunteers, however this does mean that the Museum is not open for regular general admission. Entry to the Locksmith’s House will be through our special ticketed events.
“Had a bostin’ time with Andy & David on Saturday, bashing metal at the museum. Great day out, good chat and butties, but just a great hands on forging, learning experience. All guys who call themselves Black Countrymen, should come to this branch of the Black Country Museum and tune in to the skills our relatives and local industry was built on.” – A Jewson
“Superb little museum! Part of (but not attached to) the Black Country Living Museum, it is a fascinating place to take children and adults who are interested in seeing a snippet of Victorian England.” – S Flude
“This is a fantastic gem in Willenhall! Great volunteers who bring history to life. Please support this local history museum by going to the events.” – J Court
If you have any questions, please get in touch and a member of our team will be in contact as soon as possible: 0121 557 9643 or [email protected]