Coffin Works - A Birmingham Gem!

The Coffin Works will simply transport you back in time to a place where some of the world's finest coffin furniture was made including fittings for the Queen Mother and Winston Churchill.

Now a magnificent museum located on Fleet Street in the Jewellery Quarter The Coffin Works was the Newman Brothers Coffin Factory from 1894 and was run by the Newman Brothers until it closed in 1998. It re-opened as a museum in 2014.

The Coffin Works Museum

You really are transported back in time when you visit Newman Brothers and the Coffin Works Museum.

The shelves and workbenches are full of original stock and tools of the trade during those times

The original machinery has been restored and is all working again so you can truly experience how this old Jewellery Quarter firm once operated.

Some of the world’s finest coffin furniture was made here, including the fittings for the funerals of Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother.


Coffin Works

Coffin Works on Fleet Street. Photography by Elliott Brown

The Coffin Works can be found at 13-15 Fleet Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B3 1JP.


History of the Coffin Works

Newman Brothers began life as a brass foundry company and was ran by the brothers Alfred and Edwin Newman.

The original building at 13-15 Fleet Street was built between 1892 and 1894.

In a building designed by Roger Harley, the brothers changed to manufacturing coffin furniture.

Edwin ceased to be involved in the business in 1895, leaving Alfred as the sole trader until his death in 1933. He was succeeded by his sons George and Horace, who ran the company until their deaths in 1944 and 1952 respectfully.

This ended the family running the business, but his sister Nina continued to own shares in the company until 1980. The running of the business passed to the Doggart and Whittington families. The last owner, Joyce Green, acquired the company in 1976. The company ceased trading in 1998.

After the collapse, her family fought for the building to be restored as a museum.

The building was given Grade II listed status in the year 2000 and In 2003 it was a candidate on the BBC's Restoration programme. Although the project did not reach the final of that programme, it generated significant public interest and by 2007 the Birmingham Conservation Trust appointed a professional team to oversee the restoration.

Following a minor set back in 2009 when Advantage West Midlands collapsed, Birmingham City Council continued to support the project and gave a grant to the Birmingham Conservation Trust who bought the building from Advantage West Midlands in 2010.

Restoration took place from 2013 to 2014 and the museum opened to the public in October 2014.

Coffin Works

Coffin Works on Fleet Street. Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

20 Feb 2021 - On-going


History & heritage, Art; Culture & creativity, Classic Architecture

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Jonathan Bostock

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