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  • Writer's pictureRegenerating Dudley

Glass dome caps off work at the cone

Updated: 5 days ago

A large glass dome has today (May 10) been craned into place to cap off the restoration of one of the borough’s most historic and treasured buildings.

The glass cap, weighing in at half a tonne and measuring 1.6m in diameter was carefully manoeuvred into position to crown the Red House Class Cone in Wordsley and was given a civic seal of approval by the Mayor of Dudley.

The Dudley Council-run venue has been undergoing an essential but sensitive restoration, which is now just months away from completion.

In total, £1.5million has been invested in the building to repoint the entire structure from top to bottom, both inside and out, with authentic lime mortar. New cast iron windows have been forged to replace the non historic wooden windows.

A new lift is also being put into place by the visitor centre to allow wheelchair access to the upper level Stuart Gallery with a viewing platform looking in to the remodelled cone.

Although the cone has been closed during the restoration, the site has been open to the public throughout. The cone is expected to open fully to visitors this summer.

Councillor Andrea Goddard, Mayor of Dudley, said:

"The cone is iconic; it stands proudly to remind us of its role in the historic glassmaking industry.
“I’m pleased to see that its restoration is nearing completion and that we’ll soon see the external scaffolding come down and the cone returned to its former glory."

Kate Jones, manager at the Red House Glass Cone, said:

"The crowning of the cone today has been a huge milestone in our restoration programme and a welcome sight to all of us involved.
"We’re really proud to have got this far and are now just a matter of months away to fully reopening the cone.
"Internal scaffolding is already in the process of coming down and our Phillips and Curry our contractors will be carrying out the final stages of the programme in the coming weeks."

Entrance to the Cone is free. A range of workshops and activities regularly take place at the Cone, with pricing and details available at the site’s Facebook page ( The site also hosts several independent craft studios who provide a range of products and activities including pottery, art, glass crafts and sewing.

The Red House Glass Cone is 100 feet high and 60 feet wide at its base. It has operated for more than 150 years and is a Grade II* listed, scheduled ancient monument. Built in the period 1788-1794, it is only one of four surviving glass cones in the UK, and, of these four, it is the best preserved.

The council has worked with an accredited historic architect and Historic England to secure the appropriate permission for the sensitive works. The authority is bound within these to restore the cone using authentic techniques and materials to remain true to the Cone’s history.



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