Museum of Science and Industry

venue representative image
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Uncover Manchester's industrial past and learn about the fascinating stories of the people who contributed to the history and science of a city that helped shape the modern world. Located on the site of the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station and only minutes from Manchester's City Centre, the Museum's action-packed galleries, working exhibits and costumed characters tell the amazing story of revolutionary discoveries and remarkable inventions both past and present - a memorable day out for everyone!

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open daily 10.00-17.00

Closed 24-26 December and 1 January

Admission charges

Admission to the Museum's permanent galleries is FREE.
Charges apply for Special Exhibitions.


  • Museums Association

Additional info

Wheelchair access to 98% of the Museum. A loan service is available for Wheelchairs, Mobility Seats, Magnifiers and Water Bowls. (£20 returnable deposit). Handling sessions can be organised for partially sighted and blind visitors. 10 minute pre-sessions are available for most events. For further details, please call 0161 606 0156.

Our collections are Designated by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council as being 'pre-eminent collections of national and international importance'. We also provide access to about a third of our reserve collections through our on-site Collections Centre.

This museum's Designated collections are highly focused on the science and industry of the North West and, as a result of the region's pre-eminent role in industrial history, are often of national and international significance. The wealth of archival material is particularly significant. For example, the electricity industry collections illustrating the context, development and impact of electricity on people's lives, are underpinned by the records for the industry donated by the Electricity Council in 1986. The museum has been recognised with numerous awards for the restoration and interpretation of its historic site, Liverpool Road Station, which is the oldest railway station in the world.

The Museum uses its collections to tell the story of Manchester as the world’s first industrial city. We mainly collect objects that were made or used in the Manchester area. We also hold archives relating to people and companies from the region. We collect items from the present, as well as the past, in order to portray Manchester’s continuing story.

Our object collections range from familiar domestic appliances to unfamiliar manufacturing machinery and scientific instruments. We also collect vehicles, office equipment, models, memorabilia, awards, architectural materials, archaeological finds and, occasionally, works of art. Our collections of business and personal archives include minute books, letters, trade literature (such as catalogues and manuals), engineering drawings and photographs. We also collect textile samples and pattern books, prints, paintings and audiovisual and sound recordings, including oral and video histories.

Collection details

Trade and Commerce, Social History, Science and Technology, Photography, Personalities, Land Transport, Industry, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Aviation, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.


  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Stare into the mirror of infinity, spin the turbulence zone, or watch your own skeleton ride a bike.

Some of the most amazing facts about science in everyday life are explained in this fascinating interactive science gallery, where you are encouraged to see, hear, feel and smell science in action.

The new Experiment! includes old favourites such as the Mini, which can be lifted by a small child thanks to the simple power of gears, and the tornado machine, as well as up to 20 innovative new interactives.

Be mesmerised by bubbles passing through giant columns of coloured liquids to demonstrate viscosity, see how many of the city's homes can be lit by using rubbish as power, and measure your reactions against the speed of light or the flapping of a fly's wings.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Revolution Manchester Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Discover the story of our historic site, get on board with the transport revolution and uncover Manchester’s aviation history.

Weave your way around Cottonopolis, discover why small is beautiful in Manchester and discover engineers like Joseph Whitworth and Richard Roberts who helped the wheels of industry to turn and made Manchester into a global powerhouse.

Step into the circle of energy and uncover the pioneering work of James Joule, then tinker with our nuclear fusion machine.

Play the Ferranti Mark 1 love letter game in front of our replica Baby computer, or test your binary skills in our fast-paced coding game.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Connecting Manchester Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Has your life been changed by email or the mobile phone? Is the paperless office really feasible? The Connecting Manchester Gallery tells the story of the development of communications in the Manchester region. It looks at how the new technologies of their day made it possible for people to communicate faster and further.

The Gallery draws on a wide range of the Museum's collections, including printing and papermaking machinery, photographic equipment, telephony and telegraphy equipment, radios, televisions, computers and other digital equipment.

Highlights include the first British model of Linotype machine, which revolutionised newspaper production, and early telephones made by David Moseley & Sons of Manchester. Among the more familiar objects on display are classic radios, such as the Ferranti Lancastria, and a 'Space Age' Keracolor television.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Textiles Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Working machinery, hands-on exhibits, artworks and human stories bring to life the story of Manchester's textile industry. Explore the properties of different fibres and fabrics, and try out processes such as braiding and weaving. A merchant's office gives a sense of what it was like to sell the cotton goods that made Manchester famous worldwide. You can examine samples of fabrics made in Manchester for export to West Africa.

Watch yarn being spun and turned into cloth while our Explainers show you what's happening and what mill work was like. Several of the working machines were made by Platt Bros. of Oldham, once the world's leading manufacturer of textile machinery. Follow the production process through the finishing stages of design, dyeing, printing and making-up to the afterlife of textile recycling. Artworks feature throughout the gallery, adding colour, insight and surprise.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Power Hall

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Steam power was vital to Manchester's industrial development. The Power Hall houses one of the largest collections of working steam mill engines in the world. The engines include a beam engine used at Haydock Colliery and the impressive 1907 McNaught engine from Firgrove Mill.

The Power Hall also contains working examples of gas, oil, hot-air and diesel engines. These were made by local companies such as Crossley Brothers and the National Gas Engine Co. Ltd. The two newest exhibits are a Galloways pumping engine and a towering 30-tonne hydraulic accumulator.

The former railway transit shed provides a fitting setting for locomotives and rolling stock. Get close up to a replica of Novelty, which ran in the famous 1829 Rainhill Trials. Nearby is the Beyer-Garratt articulated steam locomotive, the largest exhibit in the Power Hall. Made at Beyer, Peacock's Gorton factory in 1930, this Garratt ran on the South African Railways until 1972.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Revolutionary Railroad

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Located in the Second Class Booking Hall, this exhibition describes the construction and early years of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

You can see the original station bell and sundial. Mass-produced period prints and souvenirs, such as jugs and medallions, give a sense of the Railway's great popular appeal.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Air & Space Hall

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

By road or by air, this city’s inventors and engineers made a big impact on the way we travel today. See the cars, bikes and aeroplanes that got industrial Manchester moving.

See a replica of the Roe Triplane 1, the first all-British aeroplane to make it into the skies on 23 July 1909.

It was the work of Manchester-born inventor Alliot Verdon Roe, who founded A V Roe and Company (known as Avro) in 1910. A V Roe became a leader in British aircraft design, building aeroplanes that saw action in both World Wars.

Get up close to the Avro Avian IIIA (G-EBZM), and the WR960 MR2/AEW2 Avro Shackleton, which was designed to locate and attack submarines and for search and rescue. It could fly for up to 24 hours.

Did you know that the Rolls-Royce motor company started life in Manchester, after a chance meeting between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce at the city’s Midland Hotel? The 1905 Rolls-Royce model on display was used by Henry Royce himself.

You can also see a 1912 Ford Model T, built in Trafford Park, Manchester—the home of Henry Ford’s first factory in Britain, and Europe’s first moving production line.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
A copper-coloured dome-shaped spaceship

Space Late

  • 14 March 2018 7-10pm

Our space-themed Late celebrates the arrival at the museum of the Soyuz TMA-19M capsule that brought astronaut Tim Peake back to Earth following his stint as the first British ESA astronaut on board the International Space Station. Not only can you view this historic object in the museum, our VR experience will allow visitors to experience piloting a Soyuz capsule back to Earth.

More details will be released nearer the time of the event.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Museum of Science and Industry
Liverpool Road
Greater Manchester
M3 4FP




The Learning Centre


24 Hour Information Line

0161 832 2244

School Bookings

0161 833 0027

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.