Jen Allan Photography

Island Warehouse

The Island Warehouse is the main exhibition space at the National Waterways Museum, housing two vast floors of displays and hands-on activities.


The Island Warehouse was built in 1871 as a store for grain. Walk across the floating pontoon bridge today to find the two largest display areas.


On the ground floor you will find displays about the history of boat and canal building. Alongside historic boats and re-creations of workshops there are ingenious hands-on displays and touch-screen interactive displays. Watch archive film of the spectacular launch of a narrow boat, find out how canal 'ice breakers' worked and see rich displays on the crafts and skills of boat makers.


Upstairs find out what it would have been like to work on the canal as a boat or dock worker in our exhibition Life on the Cut, plus a special display on the history of the Manchester Ship Canal. I will add more to this section over time.

Workshop displays