Liverpool pilot cutter number 2, 1953
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.
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.
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.
Free guided tours of the Edmund Gardner are available to book every Tuesday and Wednesday from June until September. Each tour lasts one hour and is suitable for adults and families. Meet in the Museum of Liverpool entrance foyer. Please see the Museum of Liverpool event listings for full details.
Tours are free but booking is recommended, general visitors can book by calling 0151 478 4545, or enquire at the Museum of Liverpool information desk on the day of the tours to see if any spaces are available. Group bookings call 0151 478 4788.
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 have a look round inside with our online tour.
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.
The Edmund Gardner volunteer tour guide team were the North West Region winners in the Marsh Volunteers for Museum Learning Awards in 2014.
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.
Find out more
Read about how the pilotage service developed.
Find out more about the Edmund Gardner's history.
Facts and figures about the Edmund Gardner.
Take a look around above and below deck on the Edmund Gardner.
View of port side from forward