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Museums of Liverpool

Liverpool’s immense history can be hard to get your head around, but to spend time in the city without taking in some of the info would be a serious loss. Being such a historically rich city, Liverpool is home to more than 100 museums. In this article, I will attempt to summarise some of Liverpool’s most famous museums and galleries, as well as give some recommendations for some of the lesser known ones.

World Museum

William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EN

You’ve no doubt heard of the World Museum, and no exhibition gets that kind of reputation without earning it. Opening in 1851, the World Museum was originally intended to act as an exhibition for the 13th Earl of Derby‘s natural history collection. The museum has later been extended; displaying history from all corners of the world. Including an aquarium, planetarium, and prehistoric exhibition, Liverpool’s World Museum has a theme for everyone. An interesting fact about this museum is that it currently has the largest collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts in the country outside of London! With free entry for both children and adults, the World Museum is a must when wanting some history.

Walker Art Gallery

William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EL

Boasting one of the largest art collections in England, the Walker Art Gallery was built in 1877 with the intention of introducing art old and new to younger generations. The wide variety of art classic and contemporary makes this gallery stand out amongst any other you may have bee to. Being one of Liverpool’s most popular attractions-and yet again being free-this is definitely worth checking out for tourists and locals to Liverpool.

Museum of Liverpool

Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, L3 1DG

Built just 8 years ago (2011), with its vertigo inducing staircases and stunning views of the Water Front, the architecture alone of this museum makes it worthy of a visit. But the building has much more to offer additionally. Covering topics from Liverpool’s technology to Liverpool’s geographical impact on the remainder of the world, the museum is a testament to this city’s importance, and for free entry, it’s another must for anyone wishing to know more about our heritage.

TATE Liverpool

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BB

Known for their ever changing and ever popular tours, workshops and exhibitions, Tate Liverpool was established on the Albert Dock itself in 1988 as part of a chain of TATE museums. With most exhibitions being free upon entry, TATE Liverpool is an experience you won’t regret, as there’s always something new on. The topics of the exhibitions (as well as everything else they cover) vary, so even if you’ve been before, it’s certainly well worth another visit.

International Slavery Museum

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ

Liverpool’s involvement in the slave trade is hardly anyone’s favourite part of the city’s history, but it is a part of our history all the same, and should not be overlooked or swept under the rug. Opening August 2007, the International Slavery Museum set out to do just that; to ensure that the lives of those taken into slavery are never forgotten. Residing on the Albert Dock (just a few yards away from where the original slave ships will have docked), the International Slavery Museum provides a viewpoint of slavery staggering for residents of Liverpool, and eye-opening for the rest of the world, as it covers the topic of slavery on an international level, as the museum’s name implies. What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by expanding your knowledge of slavery, in visiting the innovative International Slavery Museum.

Merseyside Maritime Museum

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ

Yet another museum residing on the Dock (we’re spoilt for choice!) is the Merseyside Maritime Museum. I’ve actually already wrote a small piece on the Maritime’s brilliant Old Dock Tour, which I will cheekily link at the bottom of this article. But, other than the Old Dock Tour, the Maritime also features multiple exhibitions on the Titanic, an installation on the Dazzle Ship, as well as various actives for kids to enjoy. Depending on what you’ve turned up for, some installations are free to experience, whilst others you have to book in advance. Either way, you’re guaranteed a fun time visiting this museum.

Western Approaches

1-3 Rumford Street, Liverpool, L2 8SZ

You may not have expected this one to be on the list as it is a far lesser known museum compared to the rest, but this establishment is equally as recommendable as any other museum. The former WW2 bunker itself was founded in 1939, then later converted into a museum. Acting as the new Command Headquarters for Churchill himself, this museum gives a unique insight into how the war was won. The Battle of Atlantic was a key event for the future of the world, and it was won from this very bunker! The prices are £10.50 for adults and free for children under 5. It is no surprise, however, that they charge for this museum, as the insight you get into the war is utterly unique.

The Piermaster’s House

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BB

Sticking with the post-war theme, I come to The Piermaster’s House; a little-known gem of a museum used by the Piermaster. Originally built in 1852 and converted for public use in 2003, the house is known to have been used by the Piermaster. The Piermaster’s duty during the war was to allow ships to enter and exit the dock safely. Whilst Western Approaches allows visitors to step into the world of Churchill and the War Cabinet, The Piermaster’s House allows visitors to step into the world of war from a civilian’s perspective. Filled authentic displays of what a war time house would have looked like, the house contains the small details of life during the war, such as ration books and gas-masks, making it a truly immersive experience. Being free to visit, there’s nothing not to love about The Piermaster’s House, small though it may be.

Williamson Tunnels

The Old Stableyard, Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre, Smithdown Lane, Liverpool, L7 3EE

Originally constructed between 1810 and 1840 by tobacco merchant Joseph Williamson, there is little known about the purpose of the Williamson Tunnels, but what is known is that this is one of the most eccentric places to visit in Liverpool. With extravagant architecture, breath-taking displays and a curious history, the Williamson Tunnels are like nowhere you’ve ever visited before. Prices range from £3 – £4, which is well worth it for the experience received for visiting.

By Harrison Whittle

READ MORE: Liverpool’s most historic sites revealed

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