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The Dock Museum, Barrow-in-Furness

Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Dock Museum is situated in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. Most of its exhibits concern the history of the town, focusing on the shipbuilding industry at VSEL (now BAE), the steelworks industry — of which Barrow once had the world's largest, the Furness Railway and the World War II bombings of the town. There has been a museum in Barrow since 1907 and in its current location since 1994, when 50,000 people visited it in its first year, visitor numbers peaked at 120,000 in 2001. The museum has free entry, and is one of the Lake District's top attractions.
On initial entrance to the museum, the ground floors galleries are about the town's history, its rapid mushrooming, as well as how it was affected by World War II. The largest part of the museum is housed in a former dry dock, where three floors containing models of ships and submarines built in Barrow, along with other exhibits can be found. The Vickers Photographic Archive, an archive of 10,000 glass plate negatives donated by the shipyard is available online. There are changing temporary exhibitions, two historic, locally-built vessels as well as a filmshow illustrating the town's past and present on the very bottom floor. The museum takes its name from the dock in which it is built. This is the oldest part of the museum, opened in 1872, and is one of its main attractions. The Dock Museum focuses largely on Barrow-in-Furness and its immediate surroundings. It is a common misconception that it is solely a maritime museum. The museum has a strong prehistory collection, natural history artefacts, domestic furnishings, toys and maritime objects. The Furness Hoard of Viking artefacts discovered in 2011 is currently being held at the museum with hopes it can be acquired after being valuated.
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The Dock Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
550 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Staying in the nearby Premier Inn so visited the museum. Very interesting and informative place. Had tea and delicious cake in the lovely cafe. 
    Staying in the nearby Premier Inn so visited the museum. Very interesting and informative place. Had tea and delicious cake in the lovely cafe.  more »
  • Went here because it’s wheelchair friendly it’s also free, interesting museum showing history of Barrow. Basically based in an old dry dock giving life to the past ship building there’s a nice... 
    Went here because it’s wheelchair friendly it’s also free, interesting museum showing history of Barrow. Basically based in an old dry dock giving life to the past ship building there’s a nice...  more »
  • This is a fantastic venue for those in the area of Barrow-in-Furness. Lovely detailed models on display and some really interesting exhibitions too. Parking is free and there is no admission charge... 
    This is a fantastic venue for those in the area of Barrow-in-Furness. Lovely detailed models on display and some really interesting exhibitions too. Parking is free and there is no admission charge...  more »
Google
  • Such a nice centre to visit. Free entry and free car park. Donation boxes inside. Kids play area outside as well as some pieces to look at and nice view of harbour. Lots of exhibits inside with a couple of interactive displays. The ship models are simply amazing. There's areas about Barrow itself, vikings, ww2 and even a little bomb shelter to sit inside. Completely pram and wheelchair friendly including accessible toilets and a lift to the lower exhibit floor. Cafe was reasonably priced and quick service. Really enjoyed out visit!
  • A great feature of this museum is that it is built in part of the dock which is preserved inside and well worth a look. Entry and car parking is free and there is a children's play area as well as a cafe.
  • Very good, there is a cafe inside, no need to buy tickets
  • Brilliant museum, lots too see, lovely staff and free to get in.
  • Such a great place to visit. Obviously the history and the wonderful models and film shows. Thoroughly recommend. Easy walking from the rail station too.

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