Get to know the history

The Glass Pavilion

If you would like to take the plunge into the Cobalt Works’ historical archives and documents, the Glass Pavilion is the place to go. The large building with glass walls and ceiling rests on an old foundation wall at the Cobalt Works.

Big and airy, the Glass Pavilion, which was built in 2000, is home to a journey which takes you right through the history of the Cobalt Works, and examines everything from mining to social history. Here you can leaf through hundreds of pages of transcribed letters and other documents from the archive, which have been processed by our documentation centre, and date back to the earliest days of the production of cobalt blue pigment here. The original documents, which are kept in the National Archives, have been digitalised and are searchable on

In the Glass Pavilion, you can also go into the Wheelhouse, where we display original artefacts and present historical highlights and key characters. The Wheelhouse has been built on the foundation walls of the huge water wheel which supplied the Cobalt Works with power for its millstones and other pigment processes.

Other things you can see and experience at The Cobalt Works