Our guide to museums in Liverpool ranges from gargantuan offerings like the World Museum to small but perfectly-formed (and rather more eccentric) spots like The Hardman’s House. Discover where houses the world’s largest collection of false teeth – and which was built at a cost of £72 million.
Here are our picks
Three years in the making at a cost of £72m, the Museum of Liverpool opened in 2011 and exists to tell the long and winding tale of Liverpool’s past. Which it does, in spades, thanks to 6,000 objects displayed on three floors, all connected by a shell-like, spiral staircase. From an exploration as to why Liverpool was once declared “a wonder of the world” to the only surviving carriage of the world’s first electrified overhead railway, this museum is more than mere indulgence: it gives visitors the chance to get under the skin of a city that was for 200 years one of the world’s most influential.
– Alex Saint
It’s all here at The World Museum with treasures from around the world, the bottom of the ocean and even outer space. A hybrid of old and new: outside, it’s all Corinthian columns and neo-Classical architecture. Inside, five floors of natural history exhibits: dinosaur displays, bugs and insects, planetarium, aquarium and on the world cultures floor – Ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian artefacts rub shoulders with contemporary ethnography. This museum is unashamedly family focussed and as you might expect it is mobbed on weekends and school holidays.
– Alex Saint
Part art exhibition, part time capsule, the home of the 1950s portrait photographer Edward Chambré Hardman is a monument to the magnificent portrait and landscape photographs he captured over a 50-year career, the oddball lifestyle he led – and is one of Liverpool’s best small museums. Lovingly restored and preserved by the National Trust, Hardman’s House is a space in which you can’t turn without seeing something – be it a prize-winning portrait or simply a pile of old newspapers.
– Andrew Anderson
The Merseyside Maritime Museum tells the story of the Port of Liverpool, which has been graced by some of the finest ocean going cruisers as well made this a global trading city. It was from Liverpool that the Titanic set off on her fateful maiden voyage and the story is told in a permanent exhibition that also explores the fate of Lusitania and Ireland Empress both of which has strong links with the city. You will also find lovely maritime art, Seized! the national museum of the UK Border Agency ‘s contraband display and a themed Sea Urchins play area for kids. The Merseyside Maritime Museum shares a building with the International Slavery Museum.
– Jennifer Dean
Designed in 1887 by architect Alfred Waterhouse to house the newly established University College, Liverpool, the building underwent an £8.6 million renovation when it was converted into a gallery and museum to mark Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008. Edwardian archaeology, contemporary photography and the world’s largest collection false teeth – the museum squeezes a lot in across two floors of exhibition space.
– Phoebe Hurst