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Llanthony Warehouse’s uncovered secrets

…our conservation and construction team has peeled back the layers of the old museum. After removing the objects from the floors, we were able to see the spectacular craftsmanship of the building for the first time...

National Waterways Museum Gloucester Severn Trow inside the National Waterways Museum Gloucester

One of many warehouses at the docks built to a regulated design, Llanthony Warehouse was constructed in 1873. Built of brick, with a slate roof, wooden floors and cast-iron columns, the building was designed to store sacks of grain. Winches in the roof and loading doors on each floor, meant the grain sacks could be lifted from ground or the boats to any one of the six floors above.   

Gloucester docks crane

The building was later occupied by builders’ merchants and then in 1988 it was transformed into the Gloucester Waterways Museum on the lower three floors. With office space and archives above. 

Seven months of restoration work has uncovered parts of the now Grade II listed warehouse including the original windows – designed more for ventilation than light. They used to make the building seem a bit uninviting so to counteract this we have a new glazed entrance where you’ll find information about the museum, docks trail and boat trips.

We've also uncovered a symmetrical grid of 33 cast iron columns made by JM Butt and Co iron founders (a major local employer for over 100 years) and floorboards showing the wear and tear of the building’s former use as a grain warehouse.

Floorboards at Gloucester

Our head of museums, Graham Boxer, said of the discovery: “…our conservation and construction team has peeled back the layers of the old museum. After removing the objects from the floors, we were able to see the spectacular craftsmanship of the building for the first time.”

Last date edited: 4 April 2017