Information sheet

Merseyside Maritime Museum

Sheet number 28

Merseyside Maritime Museum is located in a former bonded warehouse, part of the historic Albert Dock built in 1846, on the banks of the River Mersey.

The Albert Dock was last used in 1971.  In its last years it was only used by small coastal craft and sailing barges, and so in 1973 the whole South Dock system was finally abandoned.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum opened in 1980.  In creating this new museum in the Liverpool dockland, the Merseyside County Council took a deliberate lead in revitalising the waterfront area.  Water returned to the Albert Dock in 1984 and Merseyside hosted the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race.

In 1986 National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside was established and the Merseyside Maritime Museum took up permanent residence in Block D of the Albert Dock warehouses.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum tells the story of one of the world's greatest ports and the people who used it.  The Museum's collections reflect the international importance of Liverpool as a maritime gateway to the world and examines the city's role in the transatlantic slave trade and emigration.

In addition the Maritime Archives and Library, situated on the second floor of the Museum, contains one of the finest collections of merchant shipping records in the U.K.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum gives you the opportunity to:

  • Retrace the steps of the nine million emigrants who left Liverpool between 1830 and 1930 for new lives in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Investigate the moving history of transatlantic slavery and discover an African story that must never be forgotten.
  • Learn about the vital role of merchant ships in World War II's Battle of the Atlantic.
  • View unique ship models and behold fine examples of marine art.
  • Discover the opulence of the Titanic and the Lusitania, floating palaces of the Edwardian age.
  •  Travel back in time on board the pilot boat Edmund Gardner to World Cup Final day 1966 (Easter - October only).

Piermaster's House and Offices

Just a few steps away from the Merseyside Maritime Museum, this house recreates the life of the Piermaster and his family as he controlled shipping through the Albert Dock. 

Visitor information

Opening times: open daily 10am - 5pm

Ships and quaysides are closed during the winter.  Please check dates with the information desk on telephone (0151) 478 4499, international telephone +44 151 478 4499.

More information on the Merseyside Maritime Museum is accessible at the National Museums Liverpool official website:


The following National Museums Liverpool (National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside) publications are available for use at the Maritime Archives and Library, and relate to the collections and exhibitions of the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

  • READ, Gordon & STAMMERS, Michael.  Guide to the Records of Merseyside Maritime Museum.  St. Johns, Newfoundland: NMGM and International Maritime Economic History Association, 1995.
  • LITTLER, Dawn.  Guide to the Records of Merseyside Maritime Museum.  St. Johns, Newfoundland: NMGM and International Maritime Economic History Association, 1999.
  • SCARTH, Alan J.  The Ship Models Collection, Merseyside Maritime Museum.  Liverpool: NMGM, 1995.
  • TANNER, Matthew.  The Ship and Boat Collection, Merseyside Maritime Museum. Liverpool: NMGM, 1995.
  • TIBBLES, Anthony.  Transatlantic Slavery, Against Human Dignity.  Liverpool: NMGM, 1994.
  • TIBBLES, Anthony.  Merseyside Maritime Museum, Illustrated Catalogue of Marine Paintings.  Wirral: NMGM and Jones-Sands Publishing, 1999.

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