We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

The power hall and pump house

The Power Hall is packed full of gleaming, beautifully maintained engines, all themed around water.

A young girl playing with an engine in the National Waterways Museum National Waterways Museum

Each engine was originally used to move water or drive things through it; or used water (hydraulic engines), or steam to drive boat engines.

The engines are looked after by museum volunteers. If they are on duty when you visit (look for the men in the overalls!), they will be happy to talk to you about their work.

And from May to September on the first Sunday of every month and on bank holidays you can see the glory of steam in action as our volunteers fire up some of these magnificent engines.

The pump house

The Pump House contains the mighty steam driven pumping engines, which supplied the power for hydraulic cranes and capstans throughout the dock at Ellesmere Port.

The giant boilers had trouble with limescale, just like your kettle at home. But to clean these monsters a small person had to climb inside with a hammer and tap the limescale away by hand!

Look out for...

The Yarwood steam engine. This engine used to power the weaver packet boat Davenham on her regular travels bringing soda ash from Winnington Works to Birkenhead or Liverpool for chemical company ICI.

Davenham's journey used to take her down the Weaver Navigation, onto the Manchester Ship Canal and then to the River Mersey.

Today you can power up her Yarwood engine though she won't be going anywhere!

Last date edited: 29 July 2015