Lancaster Maritime Museum

Discover all about Lancaster and Morecambe’s relationship with the ocean, about 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 legacy that the horrendous 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.


New for Summer 2022

School’s nearly out and we have a fun new self-guided sheet for your children, pupils, or anyone else who wants to learn a bit more about our museum.


Click here to download and print our free self-guided worksheet Explore the Lancaster Maritime Museum

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.



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.


 Museum Opening times

Open every day (except Christmas and New Year).

SUMMER HOURS: 1 April until 31 October 2022

10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Please note that last admission is 3:30pm)

WINTER HOURS: 1 November 2022 to 31 March 2023

12 noon to 4 pm (Please note that last admission is 3:30pm)


Quayside Tea Room

Open every day (except Christmas and New Year) for drinks and snacks: Menu

SUMMER HOURS: 1 April until 31 October 2022

10:30 am to 3:00 pm 

WINTER HOURS: 1 November 2022 to 31 March 2023

12 noon to 3 pm

Admission Charges

Concessions (Full-time Students & Seniors)£2.00
Children (under 16)Free
Local Residents (LA1 – LA6)Free (please bring proof of address)

Please see the web pages for our other museums to see their opening days and times, as each museum is different.

Current Exhibition:

The Maritime Museum’s current exhibitions are:

By the Water, which is running until 18th July.

Going to the Sand, running until 3rd July.


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)


Getting here

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 within 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 History Detectives Learn Pages. 


Contact us

Lancaster Maritime Museum, Custom House, St George’s Quay, Lancaster, LA1 1RB

Email:  |  Telephone: 01524 382264 

You can also contact us on Twitter and Facebook.

Friends of the Lancaster Maritime Museum

Visit the Friends of Lancaster Maritime Museum website for details about how you can join, and support the museum.

The Friends hold a Monthly Talks Programme, and a reciprocal membership with the Lancaster Engineering Society.

See their Spring/Summer Programme here FOLMM Upcoming Talks

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!

Click here to find out more.

Lancaster’s role in the Transatlantic slave trade