If you make your way to the top of the flight of locks on the Grand Union Canal at Stoke Bruerne, you'll find a restored corn mill at the at the end of a row of traditional canal cottages. But the sign above the door now reads "Welcome to The Canal Museum". Come on in and discover more...
The Canal Museum first opened in 1963, some of you may remember it was known as the National Waterways Museums in the early 2000s before returning as The Canal Museum when we took on the role of looking after the canals and rivers here in England and Wales. Today, The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne is still home to part of our wider ‘museum collection’.
Designated of national importance by Arts Council England, most of our ‘museum collection’ is housed within the National Waterway Museum at Ellesmere Port and Gloucester. However, you can also find important, treasured items at Anderton Boat Lift Visitor Centre, Standedge Visitor Centre and of course here at the Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne. Together it forms the most comprehensive collection of artefacts that tell the story of Britain’s canals and navigable rivers over the last 300 hundred years. The collection consists of over 12,000 objects – including 68 historic boats and the national waterways archive, which alone occupies nearly 1 km of space.
As grand as all that sounds, sometimes you need to bring the story back to a more personal level. And that’s exactly what you will find at our Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne.
Follow the story of Britain’s canals, from the great engineers and navvies who created them to the boat families, leggers and lock keepers who lived and worked on them. Here, you’ll find a real insight into the Britain's inland waterways – the transport system at the heart of the industrial revolution.
Displayed over two floors, within our galleries you find:
Outside the museum on the canal you'll see the narrowboat Sculptor moored, one of the thousand or so craft listed on the UK's National Historic Boat Register.
And you can continue the story of the canals with our free audio guide, which takes you from the museum along the banks of the Grand Union Canal and up to the Blisworth Tunnel.
Last date edited: 31 March 2017