M Shed, located on Prince’s Wharf in Bristol Harbour, is a museum that tells the fascinating history of the city through films and photographs, as well as moving personal accounts and artefacts from prehistoric times to today. The museum’s name, M Shed, is derived from the traditional way that the harbour used to identify its sheds for decades. Since it first opened in June 2011, M Shed has acquired over 3,000 artefacts and stories that not only depict the role of the city in slave trade and transport, but also tell people’s personal stories relating to life and work in Bristol throughout history. Entry to the museum is free.
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol, UK, +44 117 352 6600
First built in the early 19th century, the impressive ss Great Britain has returned to its place of construction in 1970 and has been extensively restored since. The ship itself has been remarkably kept intact and is the obvious star of the museum. Its fascinating working life of over 127 years, which lead through years as a luxury liner, emigrant rescue boat, cargo ship and finally, floating warehouse, is depicted in the museum’s interior in great detail. There are also real diaries and letters that describe the life on board and tell the personal stories surrounding the amazing history of the ss Great Britain. It is definitely worth a visit, and the entry ticket is valid for return visits for an entire year.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-4.30pm
The Red Lodge Museum is a former Tudor house that has been transformed into a fantastic museum showcasing more than 400 years of history. Behind a small, bright red door, visitors are invited to explore the fascinating past of this house, which has not only been used as royal party house during the 16th century, but also as a Victorian reform school and a dissection theatre for 19th century medical students. The Red Lodge has escaped destruction again and again over the years and has kept the bigger part of its history alive until today. There is not much extra information available in the museum, but the rooms itself tell a riveting story and the volunteers are very knowledgeable and always happy to supply some extra information.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-4.45pm
Red Lodge, Park Row, Bristol, UK, +44 177 927 3807
By Sophia Karner