Maritime and Naval Museums in Britain and Ireland
Compiled by Martin H. Evans and Janet West. © 2014.

 

Regional index to museums.

This page lists the maritime and naval museums, and museum-ships, of Britain and Ireland indexed on a regional basis. Click on the region you are interested in, go on to the county or shire and when you have found a museum of interest, click on it to get the details from the main alphabetical list.

Alternatively, you could use the navigation bar above, to access a set of small scale maps of the British Isles, where locations of maritime museums are shown approximately, marked with small "blue anchor" icons.

This page indexes museums under counties or shires. Changes in the structure of local government in Britain have created very many smaller Unitary Authorities and Councils centred on large towns and often including some smaller towns nearby. These are now administratively separate from the counties or shires from which they have been created, but to assist readers in finding where museums are, on a map of the British Isles, I have in these cases included the name of the old parent county [in brackets] in the location address. It is these county names that are used as the basis for all this index, generally ignoring many recent 'North-', 'South-', 'East-' and 'West-' subdivisions.

Find museums in:


 

Museums in the Greater London area:

In the central part of London:
'HMS' Belfast
Collection of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
Lloyd's Nelson Collection
The London Canal Museum

East of the centre:
Museum of London Docklands
Thames Police Museum
St. Katharine's Dock is home to many classic vessels, but they are not normally open to the public.

In north-west London, at Hendon: Royal Air Force Museum

South of the River Thames: Imperial War Museum

Down river at Greenwich there are several museums now grouped as:
The Royal Museums Greenwich
These include:
National Maritime Museum
Cutty Sark Clipper Ship
as well as the Old Royal Observatory, with the meridian line, and the Queens House which is home to a major art collection.
Also in Greenwich is:
the Old Royal Naval College

On the other side of the River Thames, among the dense commercial buildings of Canary Wharf, there are:
the Museum of London Docklands
Steam Tug Portwey

Kings Reach: several historic vessels are moored in the River Thames, alongside the Victoria Embankment.
HQS Wellington now serves the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and is occasionally open to the public.
Other classic vessels moored here include the "Hispaniola" (ex Maid of Ashton), the "Queen Mary" (was Queen Mary II), the paddle-ship "Tattershall Castle" and the "President" (ex HMS Saxifrage). None of these are 'museum ships', being in commercial use as floating bars, restaurants, night-clubs or venues. Some have been heavily modified to suit their present roles. The old sloop HMS Chrysanthemum which used to be moored here was scrapped in 1995.

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Museums in England (excluding London):

Bath and North East Somerset:

The American Museum in Britain

Bedfordshire:

The Shuttleworth Collection

Berkshire:

Blake's Lock Riverside Museum

Bristol City:

Bristol Industrial Museum - see: M Shed
The Brunel Institute
The SS Great Britain
M Shed

Buckinghamshire (incl Milton Keynes):

Bletchley Park

Cambridgeshire (incl Peterborough):

Duxford Airfield (Imperial War Museum)
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery
The Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute

Cheshire:

Anderton Boat Lift
National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port (was The Boat Museum)

ex-Cleveland (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees):
Captain Cook Birthplace Museum
Hartlepool Historic Quay
Museum of Hartlepool
Kirkleatham [Old Hall] Museum
Saltburn Smugglers Heritage Centre
'HMS' Trincomalee
PS Wingfield Castle
Zetland Lifeboat Museum

Cornwall:

Bude Heritage Centre and Gallery
Cotehele Quay Museum
Mevagissey Folk Museum
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Padstow Museum
Royal Cornwall Museum
Shipwreck Rescue and Heritage Centre
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum (was Museum of Submarine Telegraphy)

Cumbria:

The Beacon
The Dock Museum
Maryport Maritime Museum
Ruskin Museum
Windermere Steamboat Museum

Devon:

Arlington Court
Britannia Royal Naval College
Brixham Heritage Museum
Burton Art Gallery and Museum
Dartmouth Museum
Devonport Naval Heritage Site & Visitor Centre
Hartland Quay Museum
Ilfracombe Museum
Morwellham Quay Historic Port and Copper Mine
North Devon Maritime Museum
Overbecks Museum and Garden
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
Plymouth National Marine Aquarium
Salcombe Lifeboat Station Museum
Salcombe Maritime Museum
Smeaton's Tower
Teignmouth & Shaldon Museum and Historical Society
Topsham Museum

Dorset (incl Poole):

Bridport Museum and Art Gallery
Museum of Net Manufacture
Poole Museum (was Waterfront Museum)
Poole Old Lifeboat Museum
Portland Museum
Royal National Lifeboat Institution Headquarters

Essex:

Brightlingsea Museum
Burnham-on-Crouch and District Museum
Harwich Maritime Museum
Maldon District Museum
Mersea Island Museum
Nottage Maritime Institute
Walton Maritime Museum

Gloucestershire:

Gloucester Waterways Museum (was National Waterways Museum)

Hampshire (including Portsmouth & Southampton):

British Military Powerboat Team (BMPT)
Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum
HMS Collingwood's Historic Collection of Naval Radar & Radio
The Diving Museum
Emsworth Museum
Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower.(was Naval Ordnance Museum)
The Hovercraft Museum Trust
The Mary Rose
Portsmouth area in general
National Museum of the Royal Navy (was the Royal Naval Museum)
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Association Archive
Royal Marines Museum
Royal Navy Submarine Museum
SeaCity Museum
HMS Victory
'HMS' Warrior 1860

Isle of Wight:

Shipwreck Centre & Maritime Museum (was the Bembridge Maritime Museum)
The Classic Boat Museum
Cowes Maritime Museum
Fort Victoria Museum
Sir Max Aitken Museum

Kent:

'HMS' Cavalier
Chatham Historic Dockyard
Chatham Dockyard Historical Society, in the Museum of the Royal Dockyard.
Deal Maritime and Local History Museum
Deal Timeball Tower
Dolphin Yard Sailing Barge Museum
Dover Museum
Ramsgate Maritime Museum (was East Kent Maritime Museum)
'HMS' Gannet
HM Submarine Ocelot
Rochester Guildhall Museum
Whitstable Museum and Gallery

Lancashire:

Fleetwood Museum
Lancaster Maritime Museum
Lytham Lifeboat Museum
Wooden Canal Boat Society

Leicestershire:

Foxton Canal Museum

Lincolnshire:

Boston Guildhall Museum
Immingham Museum
Fishing Heritage Centre, Grimsby

Manchester:

Imperial War Museum North

Merseyside:

Historic Warships at Birkenhead
This collection closed and is being dispersed. It used to include the following vessels:
'HMS' Bronington
HM Submarine Onyx
'HMS' Plymouth
and the salvaged U534 which is now open at Woodside.

Merseyside Maritime Museum
which now includes:
Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered (was: HM Customs & Excise National Museum) and the International Slavery Museum.

Western Approaches Museum
Williamson Art Gallery and Museum

Norfolk:

The Museum of the Broads
Cromer Museum
Cromer RNLI Henry Blogg Museum
Fishermen's Heritage Centre and Henry Ramey Upcher Private Lifeboat, Sheringham
King's Lynn Tourist Information Centre and Maritime Exhibition
Lynn Museum
Marshland Maritime Museum (Kings Lynn)
The Mo, Sheringham Museum
Mundesley Maritime Museum
The Norfolk Nelson Museum
Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life
True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum

Northamptonshire:

The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne

Northumberland:

Grace Darling Museum
Newbiggin Maritime Centre

Nottinghamshire:

Newark Air Museum

Oxfordshire:

River and Rowing Museum

Somerset:

[Admiral] Blake Museum
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Watchet Boat Museum
Watchet Market House Museum

Suffolk:

Aldeburgh Museum
Alfred Corry Lifeboat Museum, Southwold
Dunwich Museum
Felixstowe Landguard Fort
Felixstowe Museum
HMS Ganges Association Museum
Museum of Knots and Sailor's Ropework
Lowestoft Maritime Museum
Lowestoft War Memorial Museum (see RNPS Museum)
Lydia Eva (YH 89)
Mincarlo (LT412)
Royal Naval Patrol Service Association's Museum
Southwold Museum
Southwold Sailors' Reading Room
Suffolk Underwater Studies
Sutton Hoo Ship Burial Site
The historic MTB102 motor torpedo boat is usually based in Lowestoft.

Sussex (East):

Brighton Fishing Museum
Hastings Fishermen's Museum
Lifeboat Museum (Eastbourne)
Newhaven Local and Maritime Museum
Newhaven Fort
Shipwreck Museum Hastings (was: Shipwreck Heritage Centre)

Sussex (West):

Littlehampton Museum
Marlipins Museum
Selsey Lifeboat Museum

Tyne & Wear:

[Newcastle] Discovery Museum
South Shields Museum and Art Gallery
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Museum

West Midlands:

Black Country Living Museum

Wiltshire:

Kennet and Avon Canal Museum

Yorkshire (East Riding, incl Kingston upon Hull):

Arctic Corsair (H320)
Bridlington Harbour Heritage Museum
The Deep
Ferens Art Gallery
Goole Museum and Art Gallery
Hull Maritime Museum (was: Town Docks Museum)
Sewerby Hall Art Gallery and Museum (Museum of East Yorkshire)
Spurn Lightship
Town Docks Museum, Hull: see Hull Maritime Museum
Waterways Museum and Adventure Centre, ex Sobriety Project: see Yorkshire Waterways Museum
Yorkshire Waterways Museum

Yorkshire (North, incl York):

Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby
Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum, Great Ayton
Captain Cook and Staithes Heritage Centre
Filey Museum
Whitby RNLI Lifeboat Museum
Whitby Museum
Yorkshire Air Museum

Yorkshire (West):

Standedge Visitor Centre

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Museums in Wales:

Anglesey/Ynys Mon:

Holyhead Maritime Museum

Caermarthenshire:

National Coracle Centre

Cardiff:

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales Collections Centre, at Nantgarw

Ceredigion:

Ceredigion Museum

Denbighshire:

Rhyl Library, Museum and Arts Centre

Gwynedd:

Barmouth Sailors' Institute, and Ty Gwyn and Ty Crwn
Porthmadog Maritime Museum

Monmouthshire:

Monmouth Museum (was the Nelson Museum)

Pembrokeshire:

Milford Haven Museum
Pembroke Dock Gun Tower Museum
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery

Swansea:

National Waterfront Museum

Go back to start of index


 

Museums in Scotland:

Aberdeenshire (incl City of Aberdeen):

Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Arbuthnot Museum
Museum of Scottish Lighthouses
Tolbooth Museum

Angus:

Arbroath Signal Tower Museum
Discovery Point and Scott's ship 'Discovery'
The McManus
Montrose Museum
The Frigate Unicorn

Argyll & Bute:

Inveraray Maritime Museum (was The Arctic Penguin Maritime Heritage Centre)
Campbeltown Museum
Museum of Islay Life

Ayrshire:

McKechnie Institute
Scottish Maritime Museum

Caithness:

Wick Heritage Centre

Dumfries & Galloway:

John Paul Jones Cottage Museum

Dunbartonshire:

Clydebank Museum
Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank

Edinburgh:

National Museum of Scotland
The Royal Yacht Britannia (at Leith)
Trinity House Maritime Museum, Leith

Fife:

Buckhaven Museum
Crail Museum and Heritage Centre
Scottish Fisheries Museum

Glasgow:

Riverside Museum
The Tall Ship at Riverside (SV Glenlee)
The classic excursion vessel MV Balmoral and the paddle-steamer Waverley are based in Glasgow.

Highland:

Gairloch Heritage Museum
Invergordon Naval Museum & Heritage Centre
Nairn [Fishertown] Museum
Russian Arctic Convoy Museum (provisional)

Moray:

Buckie & District Fishing Heritage Centre
The Peter Anson Gallery
Lossiemouth Fisheries and Community Museum
Tugnet Ice House, Spey Bay

Renfrewshire:

McLean Museum and Art Gallery

Scottish Borders:

Eyemouth Maritime Centre and World of Boats
Eyemouth Museum

West Lothian

Linlithgow Union Canal Museum

Go back to start of index


 

Museums in Northern Ireland:

Belfast:

The Belfast Barge
Titanic Belfast
Ulster Museum

Co Down:

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Co Londonderry:

Derry Harbour Museum
Derry Workhouse Museum

Co Tyrone:

Ulster American Folk Park

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Museums in the Republic of Ireland:

Co Cork:

Cobh Museum
Mizen Head Visitor Centre
The Queenstown Story

Co Donegal:

Inishowen Maritime Museum
aka: Greencastle Maritime Museum

Co Dublin:

National Maritime Museum of Ireland

Co Kerry:

The Skellig Experience Heritage Centre

Co Limerick:

Limerick Museum

Co Wexford:

Dunbrody Famine Ship

Co Wicklow:

Arklow Maritime Museum
Avondale House and Forest Park.

Go back to start of index


 

Museums in the offshore islands:

Alderney, Channel Islands:

Alderney Society Museum

Cumbrae (North Ayrshire):

Robertson [Marine Life] Museum and Aquarium

Guernsey, Channel Islands:

Castle Cornet
Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum
German Naval Signals HQ Bunker Museum

Isle of Lewis:

Museum Nan Eilean

Isle of Man:

House of Manannan
The Manx Museum, Douglas
The Nautical Museum

Isles of Scilly:

Isles of Scilly Museum Association
Valhalla Figurehead Museum

Jersey, Channel Islands:

The Maritime Museum

Orkney:

Orkney Wireless Museum
Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum
Stromness Museum

Shetland:

Scalloway Museum
Shetland Museum and Archives
Unst Boat Haven

Tiree:

Skerryvore Lighthouse Museum

Go back to start of index


The material on this page carries no approval by or official sanction from the University of Cambridge or any of its Colleges Departments or other Institutions, who have no responsibility for its contents or any inaccuracies.

This index edited 19th September 2014. Copyright 2003-2014 by Martin H. Evans and Janet West.

Dr. Martin H. Evans    e-mail:    mhe1000 @ hermes.cam.ac.uk    (delete spaces)

Dr Janet West.
Scott Polar Research Institute,
University of Cambridge,
Lensfield Road,
Cambridge CB2 1ER,
England

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