Jewellery Quarter information
Lonely Planet review
Birmingham has been a major player on the British jewellery scene ever since Charles II brought back a taste for fancy buckles and sparkly brocade from France in the 17th century. Stretching north from the last Georgian square in Birmingham, the Jewellery Quarter still produces 40% of the jewellery manufactured in the UK, and dozens of workshops are open to the public. The tourist office provides a free booklet, Jewellery Quarter: The Essential Guide, describing the main workshops and showrooms, or you can take a virtual tour at www.jewelleryquarter.net.
In the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter , the Smith & Pepper jewellery factory is preserved as it was on its closing day in 1981, after 80 years of operation. You can explore the long history of the trade in Birmingham and watch master jewellers at work.
About 1.5 miles northwest of the Jewellery Quarter is Soho House , where industrialist Matthew Boulton lived from 1766 to 1809. Among the restored 18th-century chambers is the dining room where Boulton and members of the Lunar Society met to discuss their world-changing ideas.
The Jewellery Quarter is three-quarters of a mile northwest of the centre; take bus 101 or ride the metro from Snow Hill or the train from Moor St to Jewellery Quarter station. Buses 74 and 79 pass close to Soho House.