Edmund Gardner

Liverpool pilot cutter number 2, 1953

Edmund Gardner pilot ship

The largest object in National Museums Liverpool's collections is the Edmund Gardner, a former pilot cutter that can now be found in dry dock opposite the Maritime Museum.

During her working life of almost 30 years the Edmund Gardner was essentially a base out in the Irish Sea for the Pilotage Service, providing accommodation for up to 32 pilots at a time. The pilots met all shipping approaching the Mersey and guided them into and out of the docks, to ensure their safety.

Dazzle ship

The Edmund Gardner has been transformed into a dazzle ship, with a contemporary interpretation of wartime dazzle paint, as part of the Liverpool Biennial and First World War commemorations. 

Guided tours 

See behind the scenes on the Edmund Gardner pilot ship from the engine room to the wheelhouse in our free award-winning guided tours. Tours are held at 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm every Tuesday and Wednesday and on most Saturdays from June to September. Please check the Museum of Liverpool's What's on page to check which Saturdays the tours are available.

Each tour lasts one hour. Meet in the Museum of Liverpool entrance foyer.

Places are limited so advance booking is essential, telephone 0151 478 4545.

Please note that the ship has uneven surfaces, steep stairways and low steps, meaning it is not fully accessible and unable to accommodate wheelchair users, pushchairs or prams. Please wear appropriate sensible footwear for a safe and enjoyable visit.

You can also see inside with our online tour.


The Edmund Gardner volunteer tour guide team were the North West Region winners in the Marsh Volunteers for Museum Learning Awards in 2014.

volunteers painting with the Edmund Gardner ship in the background

National award for volunteers

Two of our volunteers, James and George, have been honoured with the prestigious Marsh Volunteer award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the conservation of the Edmund Gardner.

Read more about this on the blog.

The Edmund Gardner's historic importance has been recognized by the National Historic Ships Committee, which has included the vessel in its National Core Collection of Historic Ships. She has also received the World Ship Trust's award as an outstanding example of ship preservation.

Find out more

Edmund Gardner pilot ship

View of port side from forward