Maws Craft Centre
Attraction in Telford, Shropshire
Your visit to the Ironbridge Gorge is not complete until you have included Maws Craft Centre in your itinerary. Maws Craft Centre is home to 30 small businesses, around 20 of which are small independently run shops that are open throughout the year.
We hold at least 4 major family events a year and our beautiful Victorian courtyard is also the venue for Jackfield Elcock Reisen Brass Band’s annual Concert of Thanks.
We have a wonderful selection of shops at Maws and several of them still produce their own hand-crafted goods. So if you are a looking for something for your home or garden, your loved one, or yourself make sure you visit us at Maws. You can watch crafters at work, join one of the many classes on-site, furnish your hobby (or take up a new one), have lunch or a quick snack, or just come and browse. We are situated about 1.5miles from Ironbridge and have a large FREE car park for our visitors. If you are visiting local museums by foot you will find us between Coalport China Museum and the Tile Museum (not to be confused with Maws!). Our shops are all independent businesses and are displayed on our website along with contact details and individual opening times.
Maw & Co. custom built their new tile factory in Jackfield and moved their works from Benthall in 1883. In the late 19th century Maw & Co. was the largest encaustic tile manufacturer in the world, producing over 20 million items a year at the height of the tile boom. The company’s five acre site is internationally famous for its decorative encaustic wall and floor tiles. However, due to the gradual decline in demand for encaustic tiles after the Second World War the factory finally closed its doors in 1970. Still complete with machinery, tools and equipment the factory stood cocooned for four years just as it was on the day the doors closed.
In the early 70’s Telford Development Corporation decided to raze the whole factory to the ground and between 1974 and 1977 they demolished two-thirds of the site before having a change of heart. They went on to convert the remaining buildings into flats and small business units which attracted a lot of crafters at the time. When the Corporation was winding up and wanted to dispose of the property, a group of those tenants formed a limited company in order to buy the site in 1988. The new company was called Maw’s Craft Centre (Jackfield) Ltd in honour of its former owners.
Upon acquiring the site Maw’s Craft Centre (Jackfield) Ltd initially used a large proportion of its rental income to renovate the areas that were still derelict and improve the buildings that were originally converted. Being independently owned Maws are not eligible for grant funding and therefore finance the running and ongoing maintenance of the centre from rental income alone – a mammoth task and not unlike the maintenance of the Forth Bridge!
What we have now is a wonderful mix of old and new. Buildings that once resonated with the sound of heavy machinery are now divided into small shops, offices and flats. Where brick kilns and outbuildings once buzzed with the hustle and bustle of a busy workforce there is now a beautiful relaxing courtyard. The original wrought iron gates that were once closed at the beginning of the day’s shift (and also closed to workers who were late!) are now open 7 days a week throughout the year to welcome visitors to the centre.
Open all year round. Individual businesses keep their own opening times; please check the website for details.
From junction 6 of the M54 take the A5223 south towards Ironbridge. At the fourth roundabout turn right on to the A4169. Turn left at the roundabout and follow the road along the river. Turn right over the Jackfield bridge and left on to Lloyds head and on to Salthouse road. Finish at Maws Craft Centre
The details displayed on this page are copyright protected to Shropshire Tourism and are correct at the time of publication. Shropshire Tourism would like to advise all visitors to check prices & opening times with the venue prior to traveling in case of changes that might have occured since the publication of this page. Whilst Shropshire Tourism endeavours to ensure that the information on this site is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and Shropshire Tourism does not accept any liability for error or omission. The directions above are for planning purposes only and should be used alongside a general roadmap or satnav system. Variables such as road/construction works, traffic, weather conditions etc may cause alterations to the route.