Lancaster Maritime Museum
Discover all about Lancaster and Morecambe’s relationship with the ocean, the challenging lives of those living and working in the places between land and sea, and how our inland waterways have shaped our lives, work, and leisure. We uncover the dark legacy that the Transatlantic slave trade had on this proud, historic city and show how the Quay was once a bustling place of import and trade from all over the world.
Above: Light up Lancaster 2023 showing the Maritime Museum and the historic quay in all of its splendour (image courtesy of the Wagon & Horses).
About the Museum
Lancaster Maritime Museum occupies two historic buildings on St. George’s Quay, the city’s main 18th-century harbour.
The museum was opened in 1985 in the former Custom House of 1764, designed by Richard Gillow. It also incorporates the upper floor of the neighbouring warehouse, where goods were stored after being shipped into the port from all over the world.
Explore these atmospheric and fascinating buildings and discover the history of the Port of Lancaster, the local fishing industry and life in the spaces between land and sea. You can experience the treacherous crossing of the sands, sit in a packet boat on the Lancaster Canal, and hear about life on and around Morecambe Bay. Discover Lancaster’s darker side, as we uncover the city’s involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade and how many families grew their wealth from the trade in enslaved Africans and slave-produced goods.
Museum Opening Times
|Monday||12:00 – 16:00|
|Friday||12:00 – 16:00|
|Saturday||12:00 – 16:00|
|Sunday||12:00 – 16:00|
Please note that the Quayside Tea Room closes half an hour before the Museum & Shop.
Last admission to the museum is at 15:30.
Please see the web pages for our other museums to see their opening days and times, as each museum is different.
|Concessions (Full-time Students, People with Registered Disabilities & those 65+)||£2.00|
|Children (under 16)||Free|
|Local Residents (LA1 – LA6)||Free (please bring proof of address)|
There is a gender-neutral and wheelchair-accessible public toilet available on the ground floor. (Please be aware that there is no emergency cord).
There are baby changing facilities on-site within our ground floor toilet.
We have a small tearoom and a gift shop.
Pay and Display parking is available at the rear and there is a blue badge parking space at the front of the museum. Limited free parking for up to 3 hours is also available along the roadside.
Only assistance dogs are permitted in the museum. This is because even well-behaved dogs are curious, and they sometimes need the loo. We can’t risk it for the sake of our fragile museum objects, which might get knocked over by a very waggy tail, and other visitors who may be nervous around dogs.
Quayside Tea Room
Open for drinks and cakes 12:00 – 15:30* every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
*Please be sure to check our Facebook page, as occasionally we have to amend our cafe opening hours.
|FLOTILLA: 100 years of getting our ships together.|
This lovely exhibition showcases our Centenary Flotilla: vessels of all shapes and sizes that feature in our collection.
We are pleased to say that the exhibition has been extended and will run until March 2024.
|HOARD OF HOARDS|
Hidden | Lost | Stolen | Offered | Collected
This immersive exhibition literally uncovers the hoards that we have in the collection. From pre-history through to the Tudor period people have always stashed away their valuables for one reason or another. We take a look at each one and ask what was happening in Britain at the time and why the owners felt the need to hide theirs.
This exhibition will run until March 2024.
All areas (except the Mezzanine level) are physically accessible to all visitors, with lift access available to the exhibition galleries. Please feel free to call or email the museum for more details before your visit.
Please download our Access Statement for an in-depth look at our museum Maritime Museum Access Statement 2019 (1)
The Maritime Museum is located by the River Lune on St George’s Quay. It is within walking distance of the bus station (five minutes) and train station (fifteen minutes), as well as pay and display car parks.
The Lune cycle path runs close to the museum.
You can download a free visitor map of Lancaster city centre here. (We’re near the top on the left!)
Group visits/school visits
If you plan to visit us for a self-guided tour with a large group (over 12 people) please contact us in advance.
If you are a school and wish to visit, please find the relevant information on our Schools Pages.
Lancaster Maritime Museum, Custom House, St George’s Quay, Lancaster, LA1 1RB
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone: 01524 382264
Welcome Below Deck!
Our ship-themed Education Room is available to hire for meetings, talks and other small events.
- Theatre style: 30 people
- Boardroom style: 14 people
- Short-throw projector
- Flipchart/White Board
- Coffee/Tea & Biscuits: £2.25 per person
- Croissants & Jam: £1.75 per person
- Traybakes: £2.00 per person (GF/Vegan available)
- Buffet Lunches: From £6.00 per person (by pre-order at least one week in advance)
Room Hire Fees
- Charities/Non-Profits/Education £15 per morning/afternoon session (or part thereof)
- Other Organisations/Businesses/Individuals £20 per morning/afternoon session.
Email email@example.com to book.
Friends of the Lancaster Maritime Museum
|The Friends hold a Monthly Talks Programme and a reciprocal membership with the Lancaster Engineering Society.|
Visit their Facebook page for more information
Or complete their Membership Form
Walks With Stories
Join Lancaster Museums as they guide you along with a series of walks through and around the city, helping you to explore Lancaster’s fascinating past!
Lancaster’s role in the Transatlantic slave trade.
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