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Red House Cone

Coordinates: 52°28′34″N 2°09′26″W / 52.476168°N 2.157235°W / 52.476168; -2.157235
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Red House Cone
Red House Cone
LocationWordsley, Stourbridge, West Midlands, England
DesignerRichard Bradley and George Ensell
Height90 feet (27 m)
Completion date1794

The Red House Cone as seen from the gates
Top of the cone, seen in 2021

The Red House Cone is a glass cone located in Wordsley in the West Midlands, adjacent to the Stourbridge Canal bridge on the A491 High Street. It is a 90-foot (27 m) high conical brick structure with a diameter of 60 feet (18 m), used for the production of glass.[1] It was used by the Stuart Crystal firm till 1936,[2] when the company moved to a new facility at Vine Street.[3] It is one of only four complete cones remaining in the United Kingdom.[4]

It is one of four such structures in the UK and is currently maintained as a museum by Dudley Council. (The other three cones are at Lemington, Catcliffe and Alloa).[5] At the site are 10 businesses including glass artists, pottery, jewellers, textiles fine art and demonstrations of glass blowing along with a Coffee House and gift shop.[6]

A 1-acre (4,000 m2) site, on which the cone stands, was sold by John and Ann Southwell and Rebecca Stokes to Richard Bradley, a wealthy glass-manufacturer, on 21 June 1788. The cone was built by Bradley in partnership with his brother-in-law, George Ensell, for the manufacture of window glass.[7] Ensell installed a moving lehr in the cone, which remains today and is the only surviving one in the world.[1]

The cone received Grade II* listed building status on 23 September 1966.[8][9]

In April 2022, the Cone received a pledge of £1.5m from Dudley Council in order to restore the structure.[10]

Representation in the media[edit]

The Red House Cone was featured in an episode of BBC Two's Great British Railway Journeys, in the episode Sarah Cordingley taught Michael Portillo how to make a lampwork bead.[11][12]


  1. ^ a b Jason Ellis (2003). Glassmakers of Stourbridge and Dudley 1612-2002: A Biographical History of a Once Great Industry. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 1-4010-6798-0.
  2. ^ John Butt; Ian L. Donnachie (1979). Industrial Archaeology in the British Isles. Paul Elek Incorporated. ISBN 0-236-40157-2.
  3. ^ BBC Legacies: Red House Cone, Chris Upton (page 4)
  4. ^ Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council: Red House Glass Cone
  5. ^ Trinder, Barrie. Industrial Heritage of Britain (1992 ed.). AA. p. 12.
  6. ^ Red House Glass Cone entry on Culture24 Retrieved 9 December 2009
  7. ^ Trafford, John (15 May 2019). "The history of the Cones: Wordsley". Black Country Bugle. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1076007)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
  9. ^ Historic England. "Glass Cone At Stuart And Sons Red House Glassworks (Grade II*) (1076007)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  10. ^ "£1.5m pledged to restore Red House Glass Cone at Wordsley". Stourbridge News. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Dudley borough features on Michael Portillo's TV train show". Dudley News. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  12. ^ Auraunul (12 January 2013), Stourbridge - Great British Railway Journeys, archived from the original on 13 January 2013, retrieved 13 June 2017

External links[edit]

52°28′34″N 2°09′26″W / 52.476168°N 2.157235°W / 52.476168; -2.157235