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Newman Brothers Coffin Works


Situated in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, from 1894 to 1999 The Newman Brothers Coffin Works was a thriving business. The factory specialised making high quality coffin fittings from metal and resin, linings and shrouds. Their works were used worldwide in a number of notable coffins, such as that of Winston Churchill.

When the factory was sold in 2003, all of the stock was left in the building, including handles, photographs, catalogues and designs. This fortuitous discovery lead to the decision by the Birmingham Conservation Trust to restore the building. After years of project uncertainty, work is now underway to open the coffin works as a community museum, including the original stock, in summer 2014. The building will also have let units available to house local creative businesses.

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This industrial building is typical of most factories built in the Jewellery Quarter around the 1800s. The redbrick building is spread over three stories and is constructed of  with stone detail and a slate roof. The cast iron windows are iconically industrial, and can be seen on the facade of factories across Birmingham. The building was designed with specific rooms for each function, with two entrances separating the ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ areas of the factory.

Fact file:

Location: Fleet Street, The Jewellery Quarter 
Built: 1894
Style: Factory
Status: Grade II 
Use: Community museum

Further reading:

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