THE INLAND WATERWAYS HERITAGE NETWORK


The Inland Waterways Heritage Network has been formed as a loose association between the museums in the United Kingdom whose collections are wholly or partly based on the inland navigations of this country. Over twenty institutions have been identified, with collections both large and small. Please contact the National Waterways Museum if your waterway museum or visitor centre is not listed below.


THE MUSEUMS BY AREA

THE NATIONAL WATERWAYS MUSEUM

Llanthony Warehouse
Gloucester Docks
GL1 2EJ
tel: 01452 318054
fax: 01452 318066
email: info@nwm.org.uk
website: http://www.nwm.org.uk/ 

Explore the Wonderful World of Inland Waterways. 200 years of fascinating history, brought to life via working models, engines, archive film, inter-actives. Two quaysides of historic craft to investigate.

The Museum is open daily 10.00am - 6.00pm Summer (10.00 - 5.00 Winter, closed 25 December)
Admission for 2000, Adult ?4.75. Child/Senior Citizen ?3.75
(Family tickets available - ?11.00 - ?13.00)
Full disabled access except to the floating exhibits.

Tearoom and Book/Gift Shop.

The Museum is situated in a former warehouse in Gloucester Docks, close to the centre of Gloucester.
By car: Follow the Brown Signs for Historic Docks.

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THE CANAL MUSEUM

Stoke Bruerne
Towcester
Northamptonshire
NN12 7SE
tel: 01604 862229

Stoke Bruerne is a historic canal site, close to a flight of locks and Blisworth Tunnel. The museum displays give a broad national overview of the development of Britain's canal system. The local canal, the Grand Union (formerly the Grand Junction), is considered in detail, as is traditional narrowboat decoration.

Summer opening: Daily 10.00am - 6.00pm.
Winter opening: Tuesday to Sunday (closed December 25th and 26th) 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Admission charge.

Book/Gift Shop.

The Canal Museum is in a former warehouse, south of Northampton. It is just off the A508, 10 minutes from both the M1 (J15) and the A5.

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THE BOAT MUSEUM

Ellesmere Port
Cheshire
L65 4FW
tel: 0151 355 5017
fax: 0151 355 4079

email: info@boatmuseum.org.uk
website: http://www.boatmuseum.org.uk/ 

Summer opening (April to October): Daily 10.00am - 5.00pm
Winter opening (November to March): Saturday to Wednesday (closed December 24th, 25th and 26th) 11.00am to 4.00pm.
Admission charge.

Tearoom and Book/Gift Shop.

The museum is situated adjacent to J9 of the M53. It is only a ten minute walk from Ellesmere Port Railway Station. No.3 buses from Chester and Birkenhead pass close to the museum.

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POWYSLAND MUSEUM and MONTGOMERY CANAL CENTRE

The Canal Wharf
Welshpool
Powys
SY21 7AQ
tel: 01938 554656

The Powysland Museum and Montgomery Canal Centre illustrates the history and development of life in Montgomeryshire from the earliest prehistoric settlers to the 20th century population, including a display on the history of the Montgomery Canal.

Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11.00am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm.
Also: Saturdays May to September 10.00am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Or: Saturdays October to April 2.00pm - 5.00pm.
Closed Wednesday throughout the year.
Admission charge.

The collection is housed in a carefully restored and renovated 19th century warehouse by the Montgomery Canal. It is close to Welshpool town centre.

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EANAM WHARF VISITOR CENTRE

The Business Development Centre
Eanam Wharf
Blackburn
BB1 5BL
tel: The Business Development Centre 01254 56557
tel: Keeper, Blackburn Museum 01254 667130

A small visitor centre telling the history of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and its effect on Blackburn.It is situated within the restored canalside warehouse now housing the Blackburn Business Development Centre.

Open: Weekdays 9.00am - 5.00pm.
Entry free.

Eanam Wharf is close to the town centre, on the road to Accrington and Burnley.

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ALDERMASTON VISITOR CENTRE

Aldermaston Wharf,
Padworth,
Reading
RG7 4JS

tel: 0118 971 2868

A small visitor centre with a display of material about the Kennet & Avon Canal and providing local information.

Open: 1st April to 31st October
Entry free.

Tearoom and Book/Gift Shop.

The Visitor Centre is in a former canalman's cottage, just off the A4, 3 miles from M4 Junc.12.

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BASINGSTOKE CANAL MUSEUM

Mytchett Place Road,
Mytchett,
Surrey
GU16 6DD

tel: 01252 370073
fax: 01252 371758

A display about the history of the Basingstoke Canal.

Open: Easter to 31st October, Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10.30am to 5.00pm 1st November to Easter, Tuesday to Friday, 10.30am to 4.30pm
Admission charge

Tea room, nature walk, boat trips

Just off the A321 between Frimley and Aldershot.

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BIRCHILLS CANAL MUSEUM

Old Birchills,
Walsall
WS7 8QD

Phone: 01922 645778
Internet: http://www.walsall.org.uk/museum
E-mail: museum@walsall.gov.uk

Currently Closed

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BLACK COUNTRY MUSEUM

Tipton Road,
Dudley
DY1 7LJ

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RICKMANSWORTH WATERWAY TRUST

99 Church Street,
Rickmansworth,
Watford
WD3 1JD

Web Site: www.rwt.org.uk

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UNION CANAL SOCIETY

Canal Museum,
Linlithgow,
West Lothian,
EH49 6AJ
tel: 01506 671215 (Answering machine giving further details.)

Photographs and reproductions of historic documents about the building, operation, and restoration of the Union Canal. Tools and other canal artefacts. Tape-slide show.

Open: Easter to end September, weekends only, 2.00pm - 5.00pm.
Entry free.

Souvenirs and tearoom.
Also at the basin - trip boats Victoria and St Magdalene, which can be hired midweek.

Location - By car : From Tesco's roundabout at the east end of the High Street take the Winchburgh exit. First right under the railway bridge following the "Canal Basin" signs. By train : The Canal Basin is 100 yards from Linlithgow station.

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KENNET & AVON CANAL TRUST MUSEUM

Canal Visitor Centre,
Devizes Wharf,
Couch Lane
Devizes,
SN10 1EB

Enquiries – 01380721279 Fax – 01380 727870
Email – administrator@katrust.org.uk
Website – www.katrust.org.uk

The exhibition tells the story of the Kennet & Avon Canal from 1794 to the present day.

Opening times – Winter 10 – 4. Summer 10 – 5.
Entrance fee.
Free planning visits for group visits.
Free education pack for school visits.
Open at other times by appointment, please enquire.

The Museum is on the wharf, close to the spectacular Devises flight of 29 locks.

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CHEDDLETON FLINT MILL

Leek Road,
Cheddleton,
Staffs
Email: jloutram@iee.org
Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk/~akoutram/cheddleton-mill/

Cheddleton Flint Mill is a fine example of a water mill that ground flint for the pottery industry. Attractions at the mill include two water mills, a period miller's cottage, a small museum about pottery raw materials and numerous other exhibits.

For current opening times, please dial 0161 408 5083 for a short recorded message.  Large parties are welcome, but they should book in advance. Please leave a message for us on 0161 408 5083.

 Written correspondence to: davetruman54@btinternet.com

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LANCASTER CITY MUSEUM

Maritime Museum,
St. George's Quay,
Lancaster
LA1 1RB
tel: 01524 64637
fax: 01524 841692

As well as local maritime history, displays relate to the construction and operation of the Lancaster Canal from 1797 and include material on the Lune Aqueduct and fast packet boats. There is a full-size walk-in reconstruction of the forward half of Waterwitch II from 1839 and canalside scene.

Open: Easter to October 11.00am - 5.00pm
November to Easter 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Closed: Christmas/New Year
Admission charge (local residents free)

Location: Beside the River Lune approximately 10 - 15 minutes walk from the Lancaster Canal and close to the city centre.

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WATERWAYS ADVENTURE CENTRE & MUSEUM

Dutch River Side,
Goole,
DN14 5TB
tel: 01405 768730
fax: 01405 769868

The museum's collection tells the story of the canal port of Goole's development through photographs, models, interactives and the original after cabin of the keel Sobriety. The unique boat hoists used for transhipping coal are described, and the museum is working together with the South Dock Boat Hoist group in developing a visitor centre alongside the last remaining hoist.

Please telephone for current opening times.

Gift shop and cafe.

Location - the museum is alongside the Aire & Calder Navigation at the entrance to Goole Docks, about one kilometre from Goole town centre.

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NOTTINGHAM INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM

Courtyard Buildings
Wollaton Hall
Nottingham
NG8 2AE

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RIVER & ROWING MUSEUM

Mill Meadows,
Henley-on-Thames,
Oxforshire,
RG9 1BF
tel: 01491 415600
fax: 01491 415601
Email:
museum@henrrm.demon.co.uk
Web page:
http://www.comlab.ox.ac.uk/archive/other/museums/rowing.html

The Thames is a Royal River which flows through English history. Over the centuries it has inspired generations of writers, artists and visionaries. Fascinating as the River's history may be, the museum looks not just at the glories and pageantry of the past, but to the opportunities presented by the present and future. The Thames Gallery illustrates the river's role in feeding London and the Thames Valley, its navigation and wildlife, and its transformation from a major trade route to a recreational paradise in the nineteenth century.

Opening Summer 1998.

Location - Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames is situated on the Thames between Hambleden and Marsh Locks.

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MERSEYSIDE MARITME MUSEUM

Albert Dock,
Liverpool
L3 4AQ
tel: 0151 207 0001
fax: 0151 478 4098

Based in Albert Dock, the museum site includes historic docks with canal company links. The Mersey Flat Mossdale is usually moored at the museum, which also contains models, plans and archives relating to inland waterways and their craft, particularly Mersey Flats.

Open: Daily, 10.00am - 5.00pm (except Christmas Day)
Admission charge

Restaurant and Book/Gift Shop.

The museum is in Albert Dock, close to Pier Head in the centre of Liverpool.

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WOODEN CANAL CRAFT TRUST

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DOLPHIN SAILING BARGE TRUST

Crown Quay Lane,
Sittingbourne,
Kent
ME10 3SN

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BUDE STRATTON MUSEUM

The Castle
Bude
Cornwall
EX23 8LG
tel: 01288 353576

Canal related displays in the museum show the planning, building and working era of the Bude Canal, and include a working model of an incline plane. Photographs and text also show the decline of the canal and the present-day state of much of its course, the first two miles of which are in usuable order.

Open: Daily, 11.00am - 5.00pm (last entry 4.30pm).
Small admission charge.

The Museum is located beside the canal in Bude, near the Lower Wharf.

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NATIONAL TRUST

Dapdune,
Wharf Road,
Guildford
GU1 3RR

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LONDON CANAL MUSEUM

Battlebridge Basin,
12/13 New Wharf Road,
London
NB1 9RT

tel: (020) 7713 0836
Web Site; http://www.canalmuseum.org.uk/ 

Displays about canals, the River Thames in London, canal art, the ice trade and the history of ice cream.

Open: Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays, except 24th - 26th December, 10.00am to 4.30pm.
Admission charge

In the centre of London, close to King's Cross Station.

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NATIONAL MUSEUMS OF SCOTLAND

Chambers Street,
Edinburgh
EH1 1JF

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FOXTON CANAL MUSEUM

Middle Lock,
Foxton,
Market Harborough
LE16 7RA

tel: 0116 279 2657
email: mike@foxcm.fsnet.co.uk
website: http://www.foxcanal.fsnet.co.uk/ 

The museum tells the story of the flight of 10 locks and the inclined plane at Foxton.

Open: Daily in Summer, closed Mondays and Tuesdays in Winter

Just off the A6 or A427 (A4304), near Market Harborough

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SUMMERLEE INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM

West Canal Street,
Coatbridge
ML5 1QD

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SCIENCE MUSEUM

Exhibition Road
London SW7 2DD
tel: 0171 938 8005

The Science Museum does have a small collection of waterway related material. However, from a waterway museum point of view it is more important as the co-ordinator of the PRISM Fund. Grants for the acquisition and conservation of historic material associated with inland waterways are available from the Fund for the Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material. PRISM is administered by the Science Museum on behalf of the Museums and Galleries Commission. The Fund can offer grants of up to UKP20,000 towards the following:

Grants are normally available only to registered museums in England and Wales, although in some circumstances other charitable organisations may be eligible. For more details, please contact the PRISM Fund Manager, Simon Chaplin, at the above address.

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SHARDLOW HERITAGE CENTRE

Canalside
London Road
Shardlow
Derby
DE72 2GA
email: shardlow.heritage@which.net
website: http://homepages.which.net/~shardlow.heritage/index.htm

The Heritage Centre presents an exhibition about this important canal transhipment port, plus a full size replica boatmans cabin and a variety of museum items related to the exhibition. See the web site for more details!

Opening times:
Easter to end of October; Fri, Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday  Mondays; 12 noon to 5pm
Evenings and/or group visits by arrangement.

Directions:
From M1 J24, take the A50 towards Derby, and then first exit (main route B6540 Long Eaton) - the Shardlow road is signposted from the elevated roundabout. In Shardlow, look for the Clock Warehouse Family Pub where  the road crosses the canal - the Heritage Centre shares its car park.


The Galton Valley Canal Heritage Centre

Brasshouse Lane
Smethwick
Tel/ Fax 0121 558 8195

The Centre is at the heart of the Birmingham Canal Navigations in Smethwick and offers displays and artefacts which give an introduction to the canals of the area, especially the Galton Valley which, as well as canals engineered by Brindley, Smeaton and Telford, contains many historic buildings and structures including the Engine Arm Aqueduct and Telford's Galton Bridge. As well as the canal visitors centre you can also visit the site of James Watt's Smethwick Engine and Smethwick Pumping Station where the 19th century boilers and engines have been restored and can be seen in their former glory.

The centre has educational facilities and is able to offer guided walks, talks and activities on the canals.

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 3p.m. Sunday to Thursday (other times by arrangement)


 

THE INLAND WATERWAY HERITAGE NETWORK

The museums which form the network are all of small to medium size, and individually have insufficient influence on the outside world which affects their collection, operation and aspirations in conserving the historic elements of the waterway network. Working together they will be able to achieve much more.

The word museum includes heritage and visitor centres, meaning any establishment collecting, displaying or interpreting material from one or all of the inland waterways of the United Kingdom.

MISSION STATEMENT

To co-ordinate, train and advise on best practice on the preservation, collecting, display and interpretation of material from the inland waterways of the United Kingdom, while working with others to raise the profile of the museums and the heritage of the waterways, thus ensuring the maintenance and integrity of this unique transport system and way of life for the future.

The objectives so far identified are:-

  1. To influence British Waterways, the Environment Agency and other navigations to adopt and implement enhanced conservation policies and procedures, so conserving the historic structures, boats, life, records and working techniques of the inland waterways under their jurisdiction.
  2. To influence and assist institutions involved with social regeneration, training and education linked in the broadest way to inland waterways.
  3. To work with, influence and advise waterway groups, canal societies, English Heritage, central government, local authorities, The National Heritage Memorial Fund Lottery Board and others with an interest in inland waterways.
  4. To develop a co-ordinated collecting policy between museums, both for material brought into the museums and that conserved by organisations and individuals working outside the museums.
  5. To raise the profile of the waterways museums both in terms of marketing and in the ability to channel funds from both the private and public sectors to the conservation and other aspects of the museums' work.
  6. To advise the navigation authorities on conservation work, so raising the standards in this important function.
  7. To co-ordinate with others and to individually record working techniques and social history of the canal world.
  8. To operate joint marketing initiatives to benefit each and all museums.
  9. To act as a conduit and focus for outside funding to the benefit of the museums.

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Other canal related pages can be found at:

George's: Canal boating in the U.K. and Europe

British Waterways Home Page

The Waterways History Conference

David Kitching's Canal History Pages

Mike Clarke's canal and industrial history pages

Canal Junction - Heritage Section


This guide to British waterway-related museums is still in course of compilation. We would be grateful for any suggestions or comments.

Information compiled by Mike Clarke
41 Fountain Street
Accrington
BB5 0QR
tel:01254 395848
fax: 01254 395848
e-mail: mailto:%20mike.clarke@zen.co.uk
The site is now hosted and managed by
Paul Higson for Canal Junction Ltd.

Suggestions and updates to services@canaljunction.com please

Last altered 16 April 2009