Group Visits

We welcome many different types of groups to our museum, from WIs, local history, U3As, friends groups and of course textile groups. You can choose either a tour of Forge Mill Needle Museum or the Abbey site – both are led by our expert guides.

A tour of Forge Mill explains the gruesome story of how a needle was made in Victorian times. This takes place in the atmospheric surroundings of the world’s only remaining water powered needle scouring mill. You will be able to see the water wheel and the Victorian scouring beds in action – barring mechanical problems!

We also offer site tours of the Bordesley Abbey ruins and excavations, and explain the life and work of the Abbey and its Cistercian monks and what the archaeologists have discovered throughout their years of excavations.

At the end of either of the tours there will be time to look at the current exhibition on offer.

A typical itinerary (which can be altered to suit):

  • Refreshments.
  • Welcome and introduction.
  • Guided tour of either Forge Mill or Bordesley Abbey (it usually takes just under an hour for Forge Mill, and approx 90 minutes for Bordesley Abbey).
  • Entry to current exhibition.
  • Opportunity to enjoy the visitor centre and browse the gift shop.


  • £5.00 per person, which includes entry to the museum and a guided tour (Forge Mill OR Bordesley Abbey) for pre-booked groups of 10 people or more.
  • £7.50 per person, which includes entry to the museum and both guided tours (Forge Mill AND Bordesley Abbey) for pre-booked groups of 10 people or more.
  • £4.50 – Hot drink and homemade cake.
  • Cold buffet lunch option available (please see our group visit menu below).

The group admission charge includes a £22.50 deposit which is deducted from the total group visit.

More information:

Special Group Tour Package


The Forge Mill Needle museum is now offering a unique group tour package –  looking at how a needle was made in Victorian  times which is then contrasted with modern needle production with a tour of the Entaco Factory.

Expert guides will take you round our historic mill, bringing to life the fascinating story of how the humble needle was made. The second part of the tour takes place at Entaco who show how their best-selling needles, the John James brand, are now produced and you will see why their reputation for quality and reliability is recognised by needlecrafters around the globe.

A typical itinerary (which can be altered to suit the group’s needs):

  • Arrive at Forge Mill for tea/coffee and cake (must be prebooked).
  • Welcome and introductions.
  • Tour of Forge Mill.
  • Free time to visit the temporary exhibition.
  • Free time to browse the shop, which has an extensive range of needles.
  • Depart from Forge Mill and make your way to Entaco (see directions in the flyer below). Approximate travel time is 10 minutes (4.5 miles).
  • Arrive at Entcao for welcome and introductions.
  • Tour of Entaco, which includes all the manufacturing processes of their needles.
  • Demo of how the final product is packaged ready for despatch.

Points to note:

  • A light buffet lunch can be pre-booked (please see our group visit menu below).
  • Tours of each of the site take just under an hour.
  • Free parking at both sites.
  • Max group size 30; minimum 10.


  • £7.00 per person.

More information:

Special Group Tour Package


Located in Radio 4 ‘Archers’ Countryside, the Jinney Ring Craft Centre is possibly the most visited craft centre in the West Midlands and prides itself on being a traditional craft centre where you can watch skilled craftsmen and women at work.

They have a wide range of crafts people working in their own individual businesses including glass, pottery, wood and painting, jewellery and chocolate as well as a large quirky gift shop and gallery both selling unusual gifts and works of art.

The craft centre is set in beautiful countryside with gardens with duck ponds and wide views across to the Malvern Hills and is also home to a daytime ‘Farmhouse’ restaurant, housed in a genuinely rustic old barn.

There are many special events during the year including music festivals, art exhibitions, courses and children’s activities. Check their website for more details –

A visit to learn the history of Victorian needle making, see the museum exhibits and the current temporary exhibition followed by a visit to the working craft centre at the Jinney Ring in Hanbury (20 mins drive between them) might look like this, (but can be tailored to suit the group’s needs):

  • Arrive at Forge Mill.
  • Refreshments on arrival.
  • Guided tour of Forge Mill.
  • Time to view exhibition, shop and enjoy museum grounds.
  • Travel to Jinney Ring.
  • Lunch in the Farmhouse Restaurant (two courses).
  • Free time to view working craft units, gift shop and gardens.

This trip can be booked for £26.50 for adults and seniors (£27.50 on Sundays) either through the Jinney Ring or Forge Mill.

Guided Tours of Forge Mill