Science and Industry Museum

A family in the Power Hall of the Science and Industry Museum
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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.
photograph of museum gallery showing visitors of screens

Revolution Manchester Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2020 *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


photograph of cotton working machine and wooden barrels

Textiles Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2020 *on now

Dubbed 'Cottonopolis', Manchester was once the international centre of the world’s cotton industry. The city imported up to a billion tonnes of raw cotton a year, towns like Bolton and Preston became manufacturing centres and Oldham’s Platt Brothers & Co. Ltd. built textile machines for mills across the world. The North West’s landscape and culture are still shaped by its textile heritage today.

Our Textiles Gallery paints a vivid picture of how cotton transformed Manchester into an urban metropolis. See everything from world-changing innovations like an original Richard Arkwright Water Frame—one of the machines that kick started the Industrial Revolution—to surprising, everyday objects like a pair of child-sized clogs from Charter Street Ragged School, a local charity that helped some of Manchester’s poorest inhabitants.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


photograph of steam engine in museum space

Power Hall

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2022 *on now

Discover the machinery that powered mills all over the North West and helped to shape our world.

Once a railway transit shed, the Power Hall is now home to some of our locomotives, rolling stock and a huge collection of engines.

Watch daily demonstrations of gas, electric and diesel engines.

Learn how energy is converted into power, from the early water wheel and the horse gin, through to vast horizontal steam engines.

Look out for the impressive 1907 McNaught Engine, which powered Firgrove Mill in Rochdale.

See our replica of steam locomotive Novelty, which ran in the famous 1829 Rainhill Trials and is a forerunner to the largest machine in the Power Hall, the Beyer-Garratt articulated steam locomotive. Made at Beyer, Peacock and Company’s Gorton factory in 1930, this Garratt ran on the South African Railways until 1972.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


photograph of reconstructed station ticket hall

Revolutionary Railroad

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2020 *on now

World-shaping, record-breaking, life-changing. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the world’s first intercity line that started a transport revolution.

Stand in the original waiting rooms of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station and relive the delightful and strange sensation of being one of the first passengers on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

Soak up the atmosphere of the Grade I listed building, find out how the railways revolutionised time and admire original artworks that charted the epic construction project of the 1830s.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Science and Industry Museum
Liverpool Road
Greater Manchester
M3 4FP



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