Hull Maritime Museum

Hull Maritime Museum
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Founded in 1912 the Maritime Museum moved to the old Dock Offices in 1974. The Dock Offices were formerly the home of the Hull Dock Company until 1893, when North Eastern Railway took over the running of the docks.

The shareholders' Court Room, now used for temporary exhibitions, is a highly decorated piece of Victorian architecture. The room has a frieze of cherubs displaying the coats of arms of the European cities that Hull traded with.

Hull dominated the Arctic whaling trade in the early nineteenth century and there is an outstanding collection of whaling artefacts. This includes skeletons of the whales themselves, the tools and weapons, as well as personalia, journals and logbooks. There are fine contemporary paintings of the ships and the largest collection of scrimshaw (the folk art of the whaler) on this side of the Atlantic.

The museum also tells the story of the city's involvement in fishing, initially in the North Sea and then out to Norway, Iceland and Greenland, with models ranging from small cobles and smacks to the huge modern stern trawlers. From the Middle Ages the core of Hull's trade was with the Baltic and Scandinavia. The Wilson Line, founded in 1831, began trading by importing iron ore from Sweden but by 1903 was the biggest privately-owned shipping company in the world.

The transition from sail to steam is exemplified by models and decorative arts (glass, pottery and silver). Throughout there are examples of the paintings by outstanding local marine artists such as John Ward and Henry Redmore.

Part of the Designated Collections of national importance relating to the city and region of Kingston upon Hull are on display here.

Venue Type:

Museum, Ship or maritime heritage site

Opening hours

Mon-Sat : 10.00-16.30
Sun: 11:00-16:00
Last admission 30 minutes before closing

Admission charges


This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Voyage to the Arctic: A Whaler's Tale

Looking at Hull's whaling industry, how whales were caught and processed, the products of whaling and life and work onboard a whaling ship. The resource also explores global whaling issues today.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Connect>Create 2010

Creative responses by young design students to Hull's collection of paintings illustrating the history of shipping, the romance of the sea, what it was like to be pressed into naval service, life on board a whaling ship or being ‘nipped in the ice’.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Folk Art and The Whalers

Learn about the folk art of Whaler's called Scrimshaw and how to develop research skills. Scrimshaw resulted from a creative pastime encouraged by the Captains for whalers in long periods of waiting for the whales.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Local Heroes: Hull's Trawlermen

Explore the inspiring history of Hull’s fishing industry and discover when fishing in Hull started, how Hull docks developed and what it was like to live and work within Hull's fishing community. Find out about the impact of Hull's largest maritime tragedy - the 1968 Triple Trawler Disaster.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Hull Maritime Museum
Queen Victoria Square
East Yorkshire



Kingston Upon Hull County Council

01482 610 610

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.