Visit the Canal Museum

The museum will remain closed for now, but you can still enjoy the outdoor spaces nearby.

If you make your way to the top of the locks at Stoke Bruerne, you'll find a restored corn mill at the end of a row of traditional canal cottages. The sign above the door now reads "Welcome to The Canal Museum".

One of the first canal museums in the country, The Canal Museum opened in 1963, it was known as the National Waterways Museums in the early 2000s before returning as The Canal Museum when we took over 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 museum collection

Designated museum collection logoDesignated 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 and Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre. As well as here at the Canal Museum.

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.

Get closer to the people who worked the canals

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, including:

  • a re-creation of a boat-builder’s workshop along with its specialist tools
  • displays of traditional clothing and boaters’ painted crafts and belongings
  • beautiful historical signs
  • working models of historic narrow boats, barges, butties and tugs
  • models and films that bring the vintage years to life

Outside the museum on the canal you'll see the narrowboat 'Sculptor' moored. It's listed on the UK's National Historic Boat Register.

Opening times and prices

The Canal Museum is closed from Friday 20 March for the protection of our visitors and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Towpath to Blisworth Tunnel and Stoke Bruerne canal-side Free
The Canal Museum  
Adults £4.75
Child (6-15) £3.10
Child under 5 Free
Concessions* £3.80
Families (2 adults and up to 3 children) £12.00
Groups of 10 or more discounts and packages available
*Concession: registered disabled, unemployed or on state benefit, over 60s and students  

Gift aid

Gift Aid makes a huge difference to charities like us here at the Canal & River Trust. It’s only because of your donations that we can continue to care for the 2,000 miles of historic and beautiful waterways we look after. Gift Aid, of course, is entirely your choice. If you have any questions about your visit to the Canal Museum please call: 01604 862229.

Free audio trail

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.

Get involved and volunteer here

Love history? Have a big smile? Want to get involved?

We have a magnificent team of volunteers and Canal & River Trust colleagues who work together to care for this unique peice of Victorian heritage. Not just for the local community but for the whole country.

However, as a charity, we can only stretch so far. So if you want to get involved - no matter how much time you think you can give - go to our volunteering page now...

Boating through Stoke Bruerne Boating through Stoke Bruerne

Last date edited: 2 November 2020