Museums in Hull

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Maister House.

Hull is best known for The Deep, a large aquarium built next to the Humber. The city also has a few museums, mostly grouped in the so-called Museum Quarter in the Old Town. They cover quite wide topics, from local history and archaeology to fine art. Apart from the Deep, every museum in Hull have free admission.

Ferens Art Gallery

20180113_122138Hull’s fine art museum is located on Queen Victoria Square, right in the middle of the city centre. The Ferens Art Gallery is not very big, but unlike most art galleries in Yorkshire, it has a rather large collection of ancient painting. It contains works by Dutch masters (Ruysdael and Hals), some Baroque pieces (Champaigne), and paintings by some of the best English artists (Constable, Stanley Spencer, Lucian Freud, Hockney). Free entry, open daily (website).

Hull Maritime Museum

img485Located just opposite the Ferens Art Gallery, the Maritime Museum is housed in the former Dock Offices. It is devoted to the maritime history of the port, with exhibits about whaling and the fishing industry. Visitors can see a whale skeleton, old paintings, a series of sculpted sperm whale teeth, ship models and many Inuit objects. The place is old-fashioned, but it is what makes it interesting. Free entry, open daily (website).

Hull & East Riding Museum

20160523_125758This museum is part of the Museum Quarter, which also groups the Streetlife Museum, the Wilberforce House Museum et the Arctic Corsair. The area is close to the Deep, next to river Hull. The Hull & East Riding Museum is the main historical museum in the region, covering local archaeology from Prehistory to the Saxons. It has rooms about dinosaurs, the Celts, Romans and so on. It has overall a bit faded, but some exhibits are really interesting. Highlights include some big Roman mosaics, an Iron-Age boat and a Saxon treasure. Free entry, open daily (website).

Streetlife Museum

img185A bit similar to York Castle Museum, the Streetlife Museum in Hull aims at recreating scenes from the past, with 1940s streets and shops. It is specialised in transport, and there are old double-decker trams, planes, horse carriages, cars and bicycles. There is even a stagecoach where visitors can seat and which simulates the noise and movement as if it were pulled by horses. Free entry, open daily (website).

Wilberforce House Museum

img179This museum is located in William Wilberforce’s birth house, on the High Street. It is one of the town’s oldest buildings, and it is a good example of the shipowners’ mansions that once concentrated on the street. It dates from the 17th century and it has a rather curious architecture. The interior is however not very authentic as rooms are treated as exhibition spaces. The museum is devoted to Wilberforce and his struggle to abolish the slave trade. Many rooms are dedicated to the trade itself and to life as a slave. Two attached 18th-century houses that were rebuilt after WWII have also been added to the museum. They contain exhibits about local history, and about the local clock-making industry. Free entry, open daily (website).

Maister House

Maister House is probably the grandest house in the Old Town. It is not a museum, but it is owned by the National Trust who allows visitors into the great hall and staircase. The house was built in the 18th century for a wealthy shipowner. Free entry, see the website for more information. CLOSED AS OF 2019 DUE TO CHANGE OF TENANTS.

The Deep

img180The famous aquarium is Hull’s biggest attraction, and it is the only place in Hull many tourists will visit. It is one of England’s largest aquariums and the building itself is quite striking. Located at the place where the river Hull flows into the Humber, its shape reminds of a fish or turtle head coming out of water. Open daily, full-admission tickets at £14, but it is cheaper if booked online (website).

Humber Street Gallery

img181This brand new art gallery was opened in 2017 in the trendy Fruit Market. It is set in a former fruit warehouse and it is dedicated to contemporary art, with regular temporary exhibitions. It is quite a big place, spread over three floors. Open daily, free entry (website).

Arctic Corsair and Spurn

20180113_111947Two old ships can be visited in Hull. The Arctic Corsair is a 1960s trawler and the Spurn is a 1920s lighthouse. Free admission for both, check the websites for information – Arctic Corsair; Spurn.

Hands on History

20180113_112431This small museum can be found in the former Grammar School next to Holy Trinity Church. As its name says, it is dedicated to history, and visitors can see Egyptian artifacts, including two mummies and copies of Tutankhamun’s treasure. There is also a display on Victorian times in Hull. Because of budget constraints, the museum is unfortulately rarely open, usually on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, free entry (website).

Dinostar

Located in the Fruit Market, this new children’s museum focuses on dinosaurs. Full-price admission £3, open on weekends and school holidays (website).

Back to the Hull page

See also: Visit Hull

Back to the East Riding page

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