Museums of Lancashire

Museums of Lancashire

Are you planning to visit Lancashire? This beautiful ceremonial county in North West England provides a beautiful and unique travel experience for its visitors. Its rural charms, beautiful castles, Victorian centers, and tourist attractions have successfully made the county a famous tourist destination. If you are going to visit Lancashire, then you definitely need to check out some of its best museums! Let’s take a look at some of the best museums in the area.

Carnforth Station Heritage Centre

Carnforth Station Heritage Center gained its worldwide popularity when it was used for the setting for David Lean’s romantic classic film ‘Brief Encounter.’ Opened in 1846 by the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway Company, this railway station was reduced to a branch station and the buildings were left into disrepair. However, the derelict building was completely restored in late 2000. This station is now an award-winning Heritage Center with a unique conference venue. The Heritage Center is located within the busy working railway station. It was opened shortly after the station’s complete restoration in October 2003. In the Heritage Center, visitors will find a fascinating selection of exhibitions. The most popular exhibition is the ‘Brief Encounter’ exhibition, which is dedicated to the classic David Lean film. Visitors can also enjoy a light bite while soaking up the atmosphere of the Brief Encounter’s Refreshment Room. Those who want to check out a collection of railway memorabilia and artifacts relating to the bygone days of ‘Steam’ should visit the Age of Steam galleries. The station also has a gallery dedicated to David Lean works called the Bateman Gallery. Another highlight of the station is the famous Carnforth Station that was made in the late 19th century by Joyce of Whitchurch. 

Hangar 42 Visitor Centre

Located at Blackpool Airport, Hangar 42 was constructed in 1939 for the RAF at the outbreak of World War 2. It was home to several RAF and Polish Squadrons and operated night fighter cover for Preston and Merseyside Docklands. Since 1945, the hangar has been untouched and retains many of its original features. Lytham St. Annes Spitfire Visitor Centre was developed to offer visitors valuable insight into the realities of fighting on the ground. The highlights of the hangar are the two Spitfires and a Hurricane. Visitors are welcome to sit in the Spitfire’s cockpit and operate it through a simulator. Visitors can dress up in 1940’s pilot gear and ‘fly’ over the Lake District. There are also numerous exhibitions, such as parts of German planes shot down over Blackpool. 

Harris Museum and Art Gallery

The Harris Museum and Art Gallery is a family-friendly museum in Preston. The museum was founded in 1877 by Edmund Harris and to this day it still is a local fine art and history museum. The museum really knows how to make history and art fun. Its collections consist of decorative art, fine art, textiles, costume, as well as archaeological and local history. It is the perfect place for visitors who want to discover Preston’s history as it has a gallery known as ‘Discover Preston,’ which not only displays Preston’s history but also has a Discovery Room that features wider collections. The most popular collection of the Discovery Room is possibly the display of a complete skeleton of the 13,500-year-old Poulton Elk, which is a skeleton of an Ice Age elk with two fixed man-made pointed points. It is the earliest relic of human occupation in Lancashire and was discovered in 1970.

Those who are interested in art should check out the fine art and decorative art collection. The fine art collection has more than 800 oil paintings from numerous artists, including Richard Ansdell, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, George Frederick Watts, Lucian Freud, and Anthony Devis. The decorative art collection displays British ceramics and glass. The highlight of the decorative collection is the biggest scent bottle collection in the country. additionally, visitors are also offered a contemporary art program of national and international artists, in-house exhibitions, and touring shows.  

Queen Street Textile Mill Museum

Queen Street Mill is the last surviving 19th-century steam-powered mill on the globe. Visitors can relive the day when cotton was the king of textile and watch skilled weaving technicians demonstrate the steps to turn cotton into cloth. The machinery in this museum is deemed as a collection of national importance. Besides the original machines, the museum also exhibits other textile machines and weave some exclusive commissions. One of the specialist commissions is a blue and white shirting, which is exclusively made for the ‘Old Town’ of Holt, who produce Victorian work ware. 

Jimmie James