Listed in alphabetical order of the UK town name where the museum is located.
Please note that this is NOT a definitive list and new items are constantly being added.
See also this list of Permanent Memorials to Workers.
- Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
- Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre
- Anson Engine Museum
- Bancroft Mill
- Beamish Museum
- Black Country Living Museum
- Big Pit: National Coal Museum
- Bradford Industrial Museum
- British Commercial Vehicle Museum
- Coventry Transport Museum
- Diving Museum
- The Geffrye
- Glasgow Transport Museum
- Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives
- Hall i’ th’ Wood
- Hat Works
- Helmshore Mills Textile Museum
- Honister Slate Mine
- Ironbridge Gorge Museum
- Kelham Island Museum
- Leeds Industrial Museum
- London Transport Museum
- M Shed
- Museum of Bath at Work
- Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
- Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester
- National Coal Mining Museum
- National Railway Museum
- National Slate Museum
- National Waterfront Museum
- National Waterways Museum
- North of England Lead Mining Museum
- Peak District Mining Museum
- Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum
- People’s History Museum
- Portland Basin Museum
- Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate
- Queen Street Mill Textile Museum
- Salford Museum and Art Gallery
- Science and Industry Museum
- Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Centre
- Scottish Mining Museum – Scotland’s Black Diamonds
- The Silk Museum
- Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum
- The Weaver’s Triangle
- The William Morris Gallery
- Woodhorn Museum
- Yorkshire Air Museum
Amberley, Arundel, West Sussex
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre
Set in a 36 acre site in the South Downs National Park. Dedicated to the industrial heritage of the South East, exhibits include a narrow-gauge railway and bus service (both provide free nostalgic travel around the site), Connected Earth Telecommunications Hall, Milne Electricity Hall, Printing Workshop and much more.
The Museum is also home to traditional craftspeople, such as the blacksmith and potter.
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, Station Road, Amberley, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT
Portland Basin Museum
Is housed within the restored nineteenth century Ashton Canal Warehouse in Ashton-under-Lyne. The museum combines a lively modern interior with a peaceful canal side setting. It is an exciting family friendly museum, with something for all the family.
Enjoy our temporary exhibition, and step back in time on our 1920s street, as the sights and sounds of bygone Tameside are brought to life. Take a look into our kitchen and parlour to find out how we used to live. Visitors can explore the area’s industrial heritage and discover what life was like down the mines, or on the farm. Find out more about local crafts and industries and marvel at our historic machines.
Portland Basin Museum, Portland Place, Ashton-under-Lyne OL7 0QA
Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum
Penrhyn Castle’s Railway Museum is dedicated to industrial locomotives, some of which were once used in the Penrhyn quarry.
Visit to discover more about the previous lives of these engines and their connections with Penrhyn and the quarry.
Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 4HT
Bancroft Mill Engine Trust is an independent registered charity. It was formed in 1980 to preserve the industrial heritage of the last working steam mill engine in the area.
This magnificent mill engine, with its two cylinders and 16 foot flywheel can generate over 600 Indicated Horsepower and originally drove some 1,250 weaving looms via its main shaft more than 260 feet in length.
Bancroft Mill Engine Trust, Gillians Lane, Barnoldswick BB18 5QR
Museum of Bath at Work
The Museum of Bath at Work is dedicated to illustrating the real Bath rather than the lives of the rich and famous who came to visit to take the waters. The core of the exhibits is a re-creation of the works of Jonathan Bowler whose family business operated from the 1860s to the 1960s.
Bowlers specialised in engineering but also had a small foundry, made carbonated water for the local restaurants and pubs and did work on gas installation and illuminated signs. When the business closed in 1969 a local industrial designer Russell Frears purchased the contents, much of which dated back to the previous century, and acquired premises to display them. Apart from the Bowler collection the museum has exhibits illustrating the other trades that existed in Bath including malting, brewing, papermaking and printing, textiles, stone quarrying and furniture making. There is usually also a temporary exhibition changing once or twice per year as well as talks, films and theatrical performances.
Museum of Bath at Work is near the Assembly Rooms at Camden Works, Julian Road, Bath, Somerset BA1 2RH, UK
Beamish, County Durham
The Museum’s guiding principle is to preserve an example of everyday life in urban and rural North of East England at the climax of industrialisation in the early 20th century.
Much of the restoration and interpretation is specific to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, together with portions of countryside under the influence of industrial revolution in 1825. On its 300 acres (120 ha) estate it utilises a mixture of translocated, original and replica buildings; a huge collection of artifacts, working vehicles and equipment; as well as livestock and costumed interpreters.
Beamish, Stanley, County Durham DH9 0RG
Birmingham, West Midlands
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Enjoy a guided tour around a real jewellery factory where little has changed since the early part of the last century, including a demonstration of jewellery making techniques at the jeweller’s bench.
For more than 80 years Smith and Pepper produced jewellery from this workshop, which was founded in 1899.
The ‘Earth’s Riches’ gallery showcases jewellery made from material found in the natural world, from whale tooth and coral to diamond and platinum. A wide range of original jewellery by local designer makers is sold through the museum shop, as well as a wide variety of gifts and books.
The Museum tells the story of jewellery production in Birmingham over the last 200 years as well as exploring the Jewellery Quarter as it is today. The temporary exhibition space provides a programme of workshops and events for all the family.
75-79 Vyse Street, Birmingham
Blaenafon, Torfaen, Wales
Big Pit: National Coal Museum
Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain’s leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, exhibitions in the Pithead Baths and Historic colliery buildings open to the public for the first time. There is also the world-famous Underground Tour. Go 300 feet underground with a real miner and see what life was like for the thousands of men who worked at the coal face.
Blaenafon, Torfaen NP4 9XP
Hall i’ th’ Wood
Was originally built as a half-timbered hall in the 16th century and was owned by wealthy yeomen and merchants. After 1697 the Hall was rented out to various tenants.
It was during this period that a young Samuel Crompton came to live there with his parents. In 1779 he invented his Spinning Mule, which revolutionised the cotton industry.
Green Way, Off Crompton Way, Bolton BL1 8UA
Bradford Industrial Museum
Moorside Mills was built around 1875 as a small worsted spinning Mill by John Moore. Ownership of the mills changed many times, and they developed and grew. In 1970, Bradford Council bought Moorside Mills from Messrs. W & J Whitehead to create an innovative museum.
Bradford’s Industrial Museum has permanent displays of textile machinery, steam power, engineering, printing machinery and motor vehicles, along with an exciting exhibitions programme. You can enjoy the splendour of Moorside House where the Mill Manager lived, or visit the Mill-workers’ terraced houses dressed to reflect three different time periods.
Bradford Industrial Museum, Moorside Mills, Moorside Road, Eccleshill, Bradford, BD2 3HP
M Shed is a museum in Bristol, England, located on Prince’s Wharf beside the Floating Harbour in a dockside transit shed formerly occupied by British Industrial Museum. The museum’s name is derived from the way that the port identified each of its sheds. M Shed is home to displays of 3,000 Bristol artefacts and stories, showing Bristol’s role in the slave trade and items on transport, people, and the arts.
M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol BS1 4RN
Queen Street Mill Textile Museum
The world’s only surviving 19th century steam powered weaving mill. Bringing steam powered weaving to life.
On the outskirts of Burnley – a town once dominated by the textile industry, lies Harle Syke, the home of Queen Street Mill, the last surviving, operational steam powered weaving mill in the world. Owned by a workers co-operative “The Queen Street Manufacturing Company” the mill is a time capsule of the late Victorian age, which produced cloth using Victorian steam driven power looms until its closure in 1982. Discover the story of cotton cloth production.
Harle Syke, Burnley BB10 2HX
The Weaver’s Triangle
The Weavers’ Triangle is a modern name for an area astride the Leeds and Liverpool Canal that was once at the heart of Burnley’s textile industry.
The name was first used in the 1970s, as interest developed in preserving Burnley’s industrial heritage, and refers to the roughly triangular shape of the region.
Exploring the area will still find many buildings from the days when the town led the world in the production of cotton cloth. A largely unbroken sequence of weaving sheds and spinning mills encloses the canal, making this one of the finest surviving Victorian industrial landscapes in the country.
The area contains many other historic buildings – foundries, warehouses, domestic buildings and a school. Of particular interest is Slater Terrace – an unusual row of eleven houses above a canal-side warehouse.
85 Manchester Road, Burnley BB11 1JZ
Coventry Transport Museum
Coventry Transport Museum opened in 1980, after it became clear that the road transport collection was outgrowing the space it occupied in the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. The Museum’s current collection of vehicles is acknowledged as being one of the finest in the world, and the largest in public ownership.
The first exhibits were acquired in 1937 when Samuel Bartleet gifted the City of Coventry his own private collection of cycles. The first motor cars were added to the collection in 1952, and the collection has continued to grow ever since.
The first major public exhibitions began in 1960 with the official opening of the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. As the transport collection grew, the vehicles were housed in a number of local sites, eventually settling at their present location in 1980.
The Museum’s collection consists of motor cars, commercial vehicles, cycles and motorcycles. In addition, extensive collections of automobilia, books, photographs and a wealth of other archive material is held and conserved at the Coventry History Centre at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. Most of the collection exists through the outstanding generosity of individual donors.
Coventry Transport Museum is in Coventry City Centre: Millennium Place, Hales Street, Coventry CV1 1JD
Dudley, West Midlands
Black Country Living Museum
The Black Country Living Museum is distinctive because of the scale, drama, intensity and multiplicity of the industrial might that was unleashed. It first emerged in the 1830s, creating the first industrial landscape anywhere in the world. Beneath the smoke and glare from blast furnaces and forges, Black Country innovation, entrepreneurial and manufacturing skill established the region’s supremacy for the making of wrought iron. The Black Country also possessed important hardware and other manufactures distinctive to itself – structural ironwork, chain making, locks and keys, tube manufacture, trap making and many others – which brought fame to Black Country towns across the globe.
Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4SQ
Ellsmere Port, Cheshire
National Waterways Museum
Is housed on a seven acre site that was previously a thriving canal docks. The handsome Victorian buildings that house the Museum’s displays sit amidst a scene of locks and moorings vibrant with historic and visiting narrow boats and rich with canal wildlife.
Designed by Thomas Telford under the direction of William Jessop, the docks at Ellesmere Port were still in use as late as the 1950s. Today you can still walk round the locks, docks and warehouses and visit the forge, stables and workers cottages.
South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 4FW
Elvington, York, Yorkshire
Yorkshire Air Museum
The Yorkshire Air Museum sits on the site of former RAF Elvington in North Yorkshire, a World War Two airfield used extensively by Allied bomber crews during the war. It is also the home of The Allied Air Forces Memorial. The Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum is a registered charity. It receives no state or local government aid and is a not-for-profit business.
The Museum is a living memorial to all allied air forces personnel particularly those during the Second World War, and especially the tens of thousands of young people who gave their lives in that conflict. We aim to be relevant to present day generations by explaining, in a realistic way, what life was like on a typical wartime. Throughout the site you can explore aspects of design and technology dating from the 1850s right up to the present day.
Elvington, York YO41 4AU
Glasgow Transport Museum
The dynamic Riverside Museum displays Glasgow’s rich industrial heritage, which stems from the River Clyde. The Tall Ship is berthed alongside the Museum.
100 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS
The Diving Museum exhibits the best range of military, commercial and recreational diving equipment anywhere in Europe. From ancient times man has reaped the natural treasures of the oceans – pearls and coral have been collected since at least 5000 BC. The 18th century saw an explosion of interest in recovering treasures from sunken vessels. Experimentation with diving bells was followed by the invention of the diving helmet in the 19th century – commercial diving was born. After the Second World War, sport diving became popular. Today, divers can work at depths as great as 300 m doing everything from military operations, oilfield support, salvage and construction to fish farming, archaeology, research – and even just for fun! From ancient to modern, it is all at The Diving Museum. The co-inventor of the diving helmet, John Deane, lived in Gosport from 1835 to 1845 during which time he discovered the Mary Rose. The first diving helmet ever sold by the inventors was to a Gosport mariner, Henry Abbinett. Gosport represents a natural home for the country’s premier historical diving museum.
The Diving Museum is an outreach project of the Historical Diving Society and it is staffed entirely by volunteers.
The Diving Museum, No 2 Battery, Stokes Bay Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 2QU
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Centre
The Fire Station, Municipal Buildings, Dalrymple Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, PA15 1LY
Helmshore Mills Textile Museum
Nestling side by side in the quiet village of Helmshore in the stunning Rossendale Valley are two original Lancashire textile mills, Higher Mill and Whitaker’s Mill, together known as Helmshore Mills Textile Museum. Bringing the spinning industry to life. Soak up the atmosphere of the historic mills and witness original machinery at work. Follow a journey to discover how raw wool and cotton were transformed into yarn, ready to be woven into cloth. Experience the Revolution gallery, where you can follow the story of Lancashire’s unique role in the industrial revolution.
Holcombe Road, Helmshore, Rossendale BB4 4NP
Honister Slate Mine
It is believed that the first slate was probably mined from the Honister area in the Roman era, although it is quite possible that it began in a more haphazard way in prehistoric times. Certainly, slate roofing was a feature of many thirteenth century monastic buildings and it has been used as a building material in the region for many centuries. However, the first confirmed records of slate mining in Honister do not appear until the early 1700s. Quarrying on a significant scale was taking place in the 1750s and, from 1833, under the managerial eye of entrepreneur Sam Wright, the business expanded with the creation of underground mines as well as open quarries. Following the creation of the Buttermere Green Slate Company in 1879, ‘inclines’ were built to carry the finished slates away. Previously, they had been carried by packhorse, or by sleds running precariously down the scree slopes to the road. After 1892, The Hause became the centre of operations and was linked to the quarries by road, tramway, aerial ropeway (1928) and huge inclines inside the mountain (1930s).
Honister Pass, Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5XN
Killhope, Cowshill, County Durham
North of England Lead Mining Museum
Also known as Killhope, is an industrial museum that stands on the site of the former Park Level Mine, which is being restored to show the workings of a 19th century lead mine.
Near Cowshill, Upper Weardale, County Durham DL13 1AR
Leeds Industrial Museum
Once the largest woollen mill in the world, today Armley Mills tells the story of Leeds’ rich industrial heritage through the collections, exhibitions and galleries of Leeds Industrial Museum. Like many other textile mills, Armley could not cope with the combination of the loss of markets as the British Empire split up, the increase in competition from abroad and the increasing use of man-made fibres. In the early 1970s the mill finally closed as a business and, in recognition of its historic importance, the site was bought by Leeds City Council, re-opening in 1982 as Leeds Industrial Museum.
Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley Mills, Canal Rd, Leeds LS12 2QF
British Commercial Vehicle Museum
This remarkable museum brings the compelling story of commercial vehicles to life. From the bygone days of horse drawn carriages through to the state of the art power trucks you will discover a visually rich array of buses, fire engines, delivery trucks and even a very unique lawnmower.
There are displays that chronicle the evolution of vehicles that are all around us, but are often taken for granted.
The Museum also houses an impressive archive preserving over 80,000 images and incredibly detailed information on one of the largest manufacturing industries in the UK. Many images are available to purchase on-line or via the newly refurbished on-site store.
King Steet, Leyland, Lancashire PR25 2LE
Llanberis, Gwynedd, Wales
National Slate Museum
Dinorwig Quarry closed in 1969. Today, rather than fashioning wagons and forging rails – the workshops tell a very special story: the story of the Welsh slate industry.
The National Slate Museum is situated in the Victorian workshops built in the shadow of Elidir mountain, site of the vast Dinorwig quarry.
The workshops and buildings are designed as though quarrymen and engineers have just put down their tools and left the courtyard for home.
Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4TY
The Geffrye explores the home from 1600 to the present day. Evocative displays of London living rooms and gardens illustrate homes and home life through the centuries, reflecting changes in society, behaviour, style and taste as industries developed. Set in beautiful 18th-century almshouse buildings, the museum is surrounded by gardens – a much-loved oasis in the heart of inner-city London. Visit the restored almshouse for a rare glimpse into the lives of London’s poor and elderly in the 1780s and 1880s. Explore panoramas of the museum and gardens and take a Virtual Tour.
The Geffrye Museum of the Home, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA
London Transport Museum
By conserving and explaining the Capital city’s transport heritage, the London Transport Museum offers people an understanding of the Capital’s past development and engages them in the debate about its future.
Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB
Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum
The museum is housed in and around a Grade II listed former Victorian waste water pumping station. It is devoted to the technology, transport and industrial history of Walthamstow and the Lea Valley.
As well as the original and unique pair of Marshall ‘C’ class steam engines, the museum includes a machine workshop driven by line shafting, a collection of small pumps of different types, a two-thirds scale model of the famous London ‘B’ type bus built in Walthamstow by AEC and a display detailing the history of local railways.
Elsewhere on the site are a portable Marshall steam boiler, an original 1968 Victoria Line tube car, an extensive collection of fire fighting equipment and various historic vehicles.
Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, 10 South Access Road, Walthamstow, London E17 8AX
The William Morris Gallery
This the only public museum devoted to English Arts and Crafts designer and early socialist William Morris.
Lloyd Park House, 531 Forest Rd, Walthamstow, London E17 4PP
The Silk Museum
The Silk Museum is the only silk museum in the north of England. Silk linked Macclesfield on the edge of the Peak District National Park to France, Italy, China and beyond. We are dedicated to telling the world of stories that began here. Explore our varied collection of pattern books, industrial machinery, textiles and artefacts from Ancient Egypt. Discover how they are linked by silk. Who are the fascinating people behind the collections?
The Silk Museum, Park Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6TJ
Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives
The Museum was founded in 1981. Funded by Greater Manchester Police, it not only collects and preserves archive material and objects relating to the history of policing in the Greater Manchester area, but acts as an important resource for community engagement, where visitors can talk to staff and volunteers about policing. GMP Museum holds primary and secondary source information about the history and development Greater Manchester policing. The archive holdings are a mix of records – both official and personal.
57a Newton Street, Manchester M1 1ET
Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester
The Museum tells the story of public road transport in Greater Manchester from its very beginnings in 1824 to the present day. The collection spans over 100 years, from an 1890s horse bus to a full-size prototype Metrolink tram.
Opened in 1979, the Museum is a partnership between Transport for Greater Manchester and Greater Manchester Transport Society and is an early example of successful partnership working between a local authority and a voluntary body.
Motor bus services in Greater Manchester were originally operated by local authorities, with additional services provided by private companies. In 1968 the Government reorganised bus services in the metropolitan counties such as Greater Manchester and Passenger Transport Executives were created to provide local bus services instead. Known as SELNEC (South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire), the PTE was renamed Greater Manchester Transport in 1974 when Wigan was included.
Boyle Street, Cheetham, Manchester M8 8UW, UK
People’s History Museum
The People’s History Museum derives its origin from the Trade Union, Labour and Co-operative History Society. From the 1960s the society formed a small collection and between 1975 and 1986 ran a museum in Limehouse Town Hall in London. The collections were then in storage until the Greater Manchester authorities made a funding offer. A new trust was created and the museum re-opened in 1990, initially at 103 Princess Street.
In May 1994 new museum galleries were opened in the Pump House on Bridge Street. This is the only surviving Edwardian hydraulic pumping station in the city and it used to supply power to the warehouses and even wound the Town Hall clock and raised the curtain at the Opera House!
The museum was known as both the National Museum of Labour History and the Pump House People’s History Museum. In 2001 the museum decided to use one name to embrace the whole organisation: People’s History Museum.
In October 2007 the museum closed to the public to allow for the start of a multi-million pound re-development scheme. A bigger and better People’s History Museum re-opened on 13 February 2010.
Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER
Science and Industry Museum
With permanent galleries spread across five listed historic buildings and collections ranging from early textile machinery to modern X-ray equipment, there’s a lot to learn about MOSI. The latest gallery, Revolution Manchester, is an introductory mini-MOSI, focusing on achievements that made Manchester a world leader in science and technology.
Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4FP
Matlock Bath, Derbyshire
Peak District Mining Museum
Has a mock-up of a lead mine in which children may safely experience and explore how the miners, and in particular how children, were used in this dangerous aspect of our industrial past.
The Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire DE4 3NR
Newtongrange, Midlothian, Scotland
Scottish Mining Museum – Scotland’s Black Diamonds
Scotland’s National Mining Museum Scotland is one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian colliery in Europe, the Lady Victoria Colliery at Newtongrange, just nine miles south of Edinburgh. Visitors to the museum will marvel at the sheer size of the place, be astounded by the engineering brilliance behind all the machinery and retrace the footsteps and struggles of the thousands of miners and their families before them.
Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, Midlothian EH22 4QN
Anson Engine Museum
Situated just south of Manchester at Higher Poynton, the museum is on the site of the old Anson Colliery. It is the result of Les Cawley and Geoff Challinor’s years of hard work collecting and restoring engines. This award winning museum houses a unique collection of over 200 gas and oil engines, many maintained in running order. Ranging from early Crossley gas engines through to more modern diesels.
The Les & Ena Cawley Memorial Building is the home of a fantastic display showing the development of the internal combustion engine. The museum has secured many early examples from other major museums e.g. Science Museums of London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bristol. This will allow it to tell the story of the engine from the cannon to the sophisticated, electronically controlled engine of the future. The museum also has a display of local history items such as photographs, maps, mementoes and keepsakes from the Vernon Estate and Anson Colliery.
Anson Road, Poynton, Cheshire SK12 1TD
Salford Museum and Art Gallery
An intriguing mixture of Victorian and 20th century architecture. Home to Lark Hill Place – the finest recreated Victorian street of its kind.
Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford M5 4WU
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
This is a unique eighteenth century industrial works, originally called Abbeydale Works, it was one of the largest water-powered sites on the River Sheaf in Sheffield. The main products of the works were agricultural scythes, but other edge tools were made too, such as grass hooks and hay knives.
The Hamlet contains waterwheels, tilt hammers, a grinding hull and the only intact crucible steel furnace surviving in the world today.
The site is a Grade 1 Listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield S7 2QW
Kelham Island Museum
Opened in 1982 to house the objects, pictures and archive material representing Sheffield’s industrial story. Located in one of the city’s oldest industrial districts, the Museum stands on a man-made island over 900 years old. Explore the Museum amidst the sights and sounds of industrial Sheffield. Wander through the interactive galleries telling the story from light trades and skilled workmanship to mass production.
Learn what it was like to live and work in Sheffield during the Industrial Revolution and follow the growth of the city through the Victorian Era and two world wars to see how steelmaking forged both the City of today and the world!
Alma Street (off Corporation Street), Sheffield S3 8RY
Hat Works’ ground floor provides an introduction to fur felt hat-making, which began to concentrate in the Stockport area from the 17th century. A farmer, making hats to supplement his income, is shown preparing fur to be shaped into hats. The bubbling, steaming kettle into which the hats were dipped is a memorable part of every visit to the museum.
Hat Works introduces mechanisation of the hatting industry to its visitors with a hatter’s cottage. Visitors can walk through the back kitchen of a small terraced house to see how a worker in a hat factory might have lived in the late 19th century, when hatting became an urban occupation.
The late 19th century was the heyday of the hat, and Stockport’s hatting industry became large and prosperous at this time. Hat Works has a good collection of twentieth century British hats, including top hats, bowler hats, trilbies, homburgs, 1950s/60s ladies synthetic hats, and all kinds of hats dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. We also have spectacular examples of the very best in couture millinery on display.
About 250 of these hats can be seen in thematic displays in the museum, with an approximately equal but ever-growing number of hats in store, waiting to take their place on display.
To complement the museum’s existing collection, Hat Works are currently concentrating on collecting hats made before 1900, hats from other countries, and hats made by modern designers.
Hat Works has a unique collection of hatting machinery. As the fur felt hatting industry began to decline in the 1960s and 70s, curators acquired a range of Victorian-style machinery from hat factories facing closure. After a good hundred years of prosperity for the industry, hats had gone out of fashion. This might have been because hairstyles had become popular, and cars meant that when travelling, one’s head did not get so cold. By 1998 there were no hat factories left in Stockport.
The felt hatting industry had mechanised in a piecemeal fashion from the mid nineteenth to the early twentieth century, with machines gradually replacing each stage of the manual hatting process. The industry retained this one-machine-for-one-process approach until the end. With approximately 45 different processes going into making one hat, the mechanical variety at Hat Works is astounding.
A tour round Hat Works ground floor allows the visitor to see most of the machines in the museum’s collection. They sift and clean fur, shape hats, shrink hats, stiffen and dye hats, bend brims and trim hats. Many of them still work, and demonstrators are on hand to start them up. Also on display is a comprehensive selection of hand tools used for hat making. Hat Works opened on Easter Monday 2000, three years after the closure of Christys’, the last local hat factory.
Hat Works is located in Wellington Mill, built in 1828 by leading Industrialist Thomas Marsland to help accommodate the burgeoning cotton industry. There is, however, a hatting connection, as the firm of Ward Brothers occupied part of the building from the 1890s to the 1930s.
Wellington Mill was one of the first fireproof mills, making it extremely expensive to build and only an option for the wealthiest of factory owners. The mill was built with cast iron columns and brick vaults, which are filled with sand. The ceiling cavities were also filled with sand. There are 2 rows of 14 cast iron columns on each floor and cast iron roof trusses, which are very unusual. At 7 stories tall, Wellington Mill is one of the tallest mills in Stockport. The 200 foot chimney, which is a famous Stockport landmark, was added in 1860.
Wellington Mill, Wellington Road South, Stockport, Cheshire SK3 0EU
Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire
Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate
One of Britain’s greatest industrial heritage sites, shows how a complete industrial community lived. Quarry Bank overflows with the atmosphere of the Industrial Revolution. Contains the cotton mill, powered by Europe’s most powerful working waterwheel. See the Apprentice House, which housed the pauper children who worked in the mill and also see Styal village, built by the mill owners the Gregs to house the mill workers.
Demonstrations on how cotton was processed into cloth are offered.
Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 4LA
National Waterfront Museum
Tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years. The Industrial Revolution in Wales had a tremendous effect on People, Communities and Lives as well as that of the rest of the World.
National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Road, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD
Ironbridge Gorge Museum
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust was established in 1967 to preserve and interpret the remains of the Industrial Revolution in the six square miles of the Ironbridge Gorge. Responsible to a Board of Trustees, the Museum staff manages 35 historic sites within the World Heritage Site of the Ironbridge Gorge, ten of which are museums.
As well as ten museums, the sites also include a research library, a tourist information centre, two youth hostels, archaeological sites, historic woodlands, housing, two chapels, and two Quaker burial grounds.
Coach Road, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DQ
National Coal Mining Museum
In 1988 the Yorkshire Mining Museum opened at Caphouse Colliery. It was established with funding from West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire Metropolitan County Councils, Wakefield and Kirklees Metropolitan District Councils and technical support and assistance from British Coal. The Museum was granted national status in 1995. Following this the Department for Culture, Media and Sport carried out a detailed study into the Museum, and in 1998 provided funding which secured its long-term future. In 2001 the Museum received a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant of just over £4.5 million. The Museum raised just under £2 million to complement this grant. Work carried out using this money included restoring buildings, new gallery areas and the store for large machinery.
Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield WF4 4RH
For more than 80 years Woodhorn was a coal mine. Work to sink the first shaft began in 1894 and the first coal was brought to the surface in 1898. At its peak almost 2,000 men worked at the pit and 600,000 tons of coal was produced each year. Production stopped in 1981 but the shafts continued to be used for neighbouring Ashington Colliery until 1986.
It began its life as a museum in 1989 and following major redevelopment, reopened in October 2006. Today, the yellow Ashington brick buildings have protected, listed status. The site is recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and it is the best surviving example of a late 19th/early 20th century colliery in the North East tradition.
Woodhorn, QEII Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9YF
National Railway Museum
Including over 100 locomotives and nearly 200 other items of rolling stock, tells the railway story from the early 19th century to the present day.
Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
National Railway Museum “Safety Movement” Gallery
In August 1913 the Great Western Railway introduced a campaign that changed the way Britain tried to prevent accidental deaths and injuries. The “Safety Movement” used photographs, booklets and competitions to persuade workers to avoid dangers.
Safety education showed workers what to do and what not to do, an idea which became enormously influential. It has been used ever since by the railway industry for both workers and passengers.
This eye-catching and visual approach to preventing deaths and injuries also spread throughout other industries and was soon found across British society, tackling road and home safety. It remains important today, as seen in the annual Christmas anti-drink-driving campaign.
Discover the story of railway safety over the last 100 years in this gallery of highlights from the National Railway Museum’s collection. Explore the attempts to prevent injuries and deaths amongst workers, passengers and children, and the lasting influence of the Great Western Railway’s innovative safety campaign.
Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ