Situated in a 200-year old historic dock complex on the south bank of the River Mersey, close to the Port of Liverpool, the museum has recently undergone a £2 million make-over. Successfully merging the old with the new, the historic port buildings are complemented by the modern new exhibitions which feature a host of computer based exhibits and interactive displays, giving visitors lots to see and do.
With the largest collection of canal boats in the world, a working lock and dock workers cottages, the museum provides a glimpse to what life was like during the heyday of our waterways. The open air museum brings to life the many elements which were essential to a successful canal port in the 19th century. In the Pump House visitors will find the steam driven pumping engines which supplied the power for the hydraulic cranes and capstans around the dock and the Power Hall houses a range of engines that supplied the power for a variety of boats and other canal related activities.
When a working canal port, the Blacksmith's forge was where the canal company's ironwork was made. Today the forge is used by the museum's resident blacksmith and examples of his work can be purchased by visitors. The Island Warehouse, built in 1871, now incorporates How to build a boat, an exhibition exploring the construction of boats from the Iron Age, through the 1800s up to the present day. While on the upper floor of the warehouse visitors can find out more about those who lived and worked on the canals through interactive displays and recordings of surviving members of old canal families.
Canal crafts including fender making, leather working, painting and rope making are demonstrated in a specially designated area. And a new exhibition space in the Toll House will enable the museum to house temporary and touring exhibitions.
For more virtual tours of Ellesmere Port Boat Museum please visit