“ Address: St. Georges Quay / Lancaster / LA1 1RB / England „
Set on St George's Quay in Lancaster, this proud building is the home to Lancaster's Maritime museum. It seems quite apt that a Museum devoted to the city's maritime past is prone to flooding on the odd occasion when the river Lune rises over the quay wall!
One of the best things about the museum is that entry is free for locals, a boon which my children and I have benefited from many times. As Lancaster was once the fourth biggest port on the western side of the country, it played a huge part in the slave trade and the import of spices and sugar from the West Indies. I know the slave trade is a thorny subject for most right minded people, but it isn't something which should be ignored. Our darker pages from the history book should be re-visited occasionally to remind us not to do it again. Also, on a more local level, the slave trade had a large role in shaping the Lancaster we are left with today.
A large part of Lancaster's historic wealth came from the activities of the port, and it is this wealth that shaped the way the city looks today. Unfortunately, the Lune silted up about a hundred years ago and the Quay is no longer a working port, and has fallen into the trap of many former industrial age groups of buildings ie. most of these have been converted into flats.
The museum is packed with exhibits, using technology in the form of touch button displays and "talking" mannequins along side less exotic displays of models of ships and a life size barge which can be climbed over by the kids. My daughter was a bit scared by some of the mannequins, but she is young and still believes in things that live under the bed.
It is worth checking the opening times for the museum, Im pretty sure winter opening times are restricted. Also, there is a cafe inside and a small shop gift shop which sells a variety of nic-nacs, from tall ship shaped fridge magnets to books about local history.
The museum does cover a few floors, but there is a lift for people with access difficulties.
A very good museum, well worth a visit.
Discover the rich maritime history of Lancaster.