Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Blists Hill Victorian Town

I grew up in Telford (off and on) and had never visited Blists Hill until now.

Blists Hill is an authentic working Victorian Town, where you get to see and experience life as it was over 100 years ago. The original site contained buildings designed for the brick and tile industries, along with blast furnaces and various mines. Many years later, it became an open-air museum but it has expanded since then, with several Victorian buildings having been transported brick by brick and reconstructed on-site, to turn it into the working town it is today.

The structures at Blists Hill are fully functioning, and in the town you will find such delights as an Olde Worlde Sweete Shoppe, the aroma of freshly baked bread coming from the bakery, the clatter from the blacksmith's workshop and more besides. It is quite an adventure. When you have exhausted all of that, you can even stop off in The New Inn (which originally stood in Walsall) and enjoy a well-deserved pint of ale.

Each building is normally manned by one or more costumed demonstrators. However, when I visited (admittedly off-season) this was not the case, and some of the stores were closed or not accessible. It would have been nice to have a full complement of staff and more 'Victorians' milling around, as some of the demonstrators had to play dual roles. Having said that, the several I met and chatted with about life then and now, were all very friendly and informative. Sidenote - being off-season meant it was nice and quiet, and I could amble along at my own pace without kids getting under my feet or, worse, in my shot!

It was good to see some of the skills such as candle-making and trades like blacksmith still alive and working. In the photography store, they had the largest format camera I have ever seen, certainly not a point and shoot!

I always try to consider value for money and at £16 it was a little more expensive than I would have liked but I felt I got my money's worth. It is without doubt a great location for a photographer to capture those bygone days and definitely worth a visit.

You can find out more about Blists Hill HERE


Dade Freeman is a Brighton photographer producing portraits and headshots for actors, musicians, corporate business and other professional industries.