Williamson Art Gallery and Wirral Museums

photograph of exterior of williamson art gallery
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Located outside the centre of Birkenhead, the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum was purpose-built and was opened in December 1928.

The building is named after John and Patrick Williamson, father and son, who each bequeathed a substantial sum of money to Birkenhead Borough Council.

The Williamson has built a strong regional reputation for the quality and variety of its exhibitions and houses the vast majority of Birkenhead's collection of art and history collections, some of which are displayed in a series of varied and well proportioned galleries.

Always on show is the largest single display of ship models in the area, focusing on Cammell Laird shipbuilders and their contribution to marine history, the Mersey Ferries and the variety of vessels that used the River Mersey when it was at its busiest.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Wednesday to Sunday 10-5pm

Admission charges


Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, World Cultures, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Weapons and War, Science and Technology, Social History, Land Transport, Maritime

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Turner picture of Vesuvius in the Watercolour exhibition

English Watercolours

  • 18 November 2015 — 20 November 2016 *on now

The core watercolour collection at the Williamson was being built from the early 1920’s in preparation for the new gallery in 1928 and continued particularly throughout the 1930’s: an effort was made to have work by all the significant British painters in watercolour and some very exceptional pictures are included: for instance, a JMW Turner that had formerly belonged to John Ruskin.

Suitable for

  • Any age




A Room of One's Own

  • 18 November 2015 — 18 December 2016 *on now

Our year long exhibiton “A Room of One’s Own “in Gallery Four will be used throughout the year to tie in with our education provision from our learning officer, Kathy Heywood and artist in residence, Pamela Sullivan. The display is of interior paintings drawn from the Williamson’s collections, from all parts of the gallery’s life: from one purchased in 1913 to one given in 2015; prize-winners, bequests, gifts, transfers: they represent almost every way pictures come into museum collections. Over half are by artists with local connections; some by artists with international reputations, others by local students, they encapsulate in one room, the range and diversity of the Williamson’s art collection.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Harold Hopps for Visit Wirral

Village Wirral

  • 27 January — 18 December 2016 *on now

Looking through the A-Z or speak to anyone in Wirral and the word “VILLAGE” crops up a lot. Wirral is often perceived as a series of village communities that still identify themselves as separate from their neighbours. This is a look through some of the Williamson’s paintings that pick out the distinctiveness of many Wirral communities.
The Williamson has many paintings by Harold Hopps (1879–1967) in the collection and several of these will be used in the exhibition. Harold Hopps spent several decades documenting the changes to the landscape around him, especially his home town of Wallasey.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Williamson Art Gallery and Wirral Museums
Slatey Road
Birkenhead, Wirral
CH43 4UE






0151 652 4177

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.