Articles, Maritime History, Uncategorized

Maritime Museums

Maritime Collections and Memorials in Ireland

DublinMariners Church outside area


1 National Maritime Museum – Mariner’s Church Dun Laoghaire

Bailey Optic, some 70 ship models, Material relating to Thomas Halpin and his cable laying work with Great Eastern.  Open Tuesday to Sunday plus bank holiday Mondays; 11am to 5pm

2 Trinity College Dublin

The Civil Engineering Heritage Archive

Engineering models of the float and shear legs used to operate the Dublin Port Diving bell and block float used to lay the elements of the piers at Dublin port. Model of the Diving bell is in St Andrews resource centre in nearby Pearse street. This is also the burial place of the divers Spalding and Watson who lost their lives in 1783 bell diving on the Belgioso. Their graves are unmarked and exact location is unknown.

3 St Andrews Resource Centre

Heritage Project

Model of the Dublin Port Diving Bell

click for our article on the Bell,

4 National Museum – Collins Barracks Dublin 1

  • Armada guns recovered from Streedagh Co Sligo
  • Sligo also the Bantry Yawl – Admiral Neilly’s Barge captured during the expedition to Bantry Bay.
  • Went collection of medals including a Tayleur medal – Press 11 drawer 4

5 National College of Ireland – Dublin Port Archive

Collection of early maps of Dublin bay and photos of Dublin port moved to storage in Co Dublin – inaccessible

6 Irish Lights Museum – Bailey Lighthouse Howth Co Dublin

Private collection relating to Commissioners of Irish Lights and lighthouse equipment, by invitation only, not open to the public.

7 Howth Harbour Coastguard Station

Exhibition relating to lifesaving and award of Tayleur medal to Coastguard Woodley. Display of Woodley’s medals. There is a memorial to fishermen and others lost at sea including some of those lost in wartime in the car park between the two piers.

8 Guinness Storehouse Museum – Dublin

Material relating to Guinness ships and Liffey Lighters. Also film of canal barges used to transport beer. Archive of photos, ships bells and fragment of bomb which struck ship during WW2.

9 Grand canal Visitors Centre –

Hannover Dock Ringsend

Photographic display relating to canals in Ireland. Models of operation of locks Curently closed

10 Hannover basin – Ringsend

Dublin Docklands

Some historic craft afloat including MV Naomh Eanna – Aran Island ferry built Dublin 1957 and Mary B Stanford lifeboat which accompanied the Daunt Lightvessel for days as she drifted before a hurricane, nearby on south quays is Dublin port diving bell. Across the river is the lightship Kikkiwake and the floating restaurant Cill Airne built in the Dublin dockyard in 1960. Believed to be the last riveted ship built in Europe.

11 Prince of Wales and Rochdale memorials

Headstones mark the burial place of the victims of this 1807 disaster at Monkstown cemetery (access key with electrical shop at eth bottom of the hill). Dalkey Heritage centre (churchyard adjoining the castle) and Williamstown cemetery beside the Tara Towers Hotel on the Merrion road. .

12 Seamen’s war memorial – City Quay – Dublin

Anchor on granite plinth commemorating Irish merchant seamen lost during second world war

13 Leinster memorial Dun Laoghaire

Anchor from RMS Leinster on plinth near Carlisle pier from whence she sailed before being torpedoed in November 1918. (Click here to read about the loss of the Leinster) Also on the east pier is the Ajax memorial to seaman from HMS Ajax who lost their lives attempting a rescue.

14 St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin

Statue and grave of Boyd who died in the attempted rescue from shipwrecks at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) in 1861.

15 East Pier Dun Laoghaire

Boyd Monument on the East Pier

Small obelisk commemorating those who died in the rescue attempts in 1861.

16 Military Cemetery – Blackhorse Ave Dublin

About 70 graves of the military casualties of the torpedoing of the Leinster,1918.

Dalkey Martello tower

Major restoration of an 1803 Martello tower built to resist French Invasion with significant exhibition, equipment, and a replica (working) cannon

East coast

17 Newbridge House Donabate

Binnacle, headstones, and other items recovered from the Wreck of the Tayleur 1854

18 Rush town square

Kedge anchor and stone commemorating the 380 lost on the tayleur

19 Portrane seafront

Kedge anchor and stone commemorating the 380 lost on the tayleur

20 Arklow Maritime Museum

LightShip Skua in Arklow

Collection relating to Maritime Arklow, Arklow shipping and Tyrell boatbuilding. Lightship Skua moored nearby.

21 Wicklow coastal artillery

Rifled muzzle loaders mounted on concrete plinths near site of Wicklow coastal artillery battery, two further cannon at another site near war memorial on road to port.

22 Hook Head Lighthouse

Display of material relating to light keeping at this, possibly the oldest lighthouse in Europe. Tower open to public. Nearby at Foulksmills is the beached Waterford harbour dredger Port Lairge (Built Dublin 1890) with its 1890 steam engine intact but otherwise decayed.

Guillemot maritime museum Kilmore Quay 23 Kilmore Quay Maritime Museum – Co Wexford

Exhibition, several fine figureheads, aboard lightship Guillemot moored in concrete at Kilmore Quay, many trawled artefacts on seafromt, Nearby on seafront memorial to those lost at sea from all causes including in wartime. The museum ship has been cut up on site and the fate of the collection is unknown.

24 Duncannon fort maritime museum – Co Wexford

Collection in former fortress, includes brass cannon trawled from sea locally and many other trawled items. Full size trawler bridge and display on wartime losses in South East. Unfortunately, closed down

Cork area

25 Fort Camden, Cork Harbour

Fort Camden, Cork Harbour

Coastal fort and artillery recently reopened to the public, search website for opening hours. Cotters Pub in Crosshaven has a collection of photographs and artefacts.

26 Passage West

Drive shaft from the Sirius mounted on seafront

27 Haulbowline naval base

Museum with material the Irish navy base and former activity in British times. Situated in the Naval barracks built in 1800 which is still in use. View by appointment

28 Lusitania memorial – Cobh

Memorial in Cobh co Cork, memorial on Old head of Kinsale, headstone on main burial at Cobh Cemetary, some graves at St Multose church Kinsale. There is a small museum in Methodist church with material on Cobh. An exhibition on emigration is in the old railway station just beside the White Star pier. The Commodore hotel has many artefacts.

29 Castletownsend

Lusitania oar and lifebelt in Castletownsend church, also memorial to Admiral Somerville and other members of this naval family.

30 Bushe’s bar Baltimore

Collection of material recovered locally from Kowloon Bridge etc Many photographs.

31 Paintings at Crawford Gallery

Collection of maritime paintings of Cork

32 Bantry House, French Armada Museum

Bantry House, French Armada

Collection of items recovered from La Surveillante which was scuttled during French attempt to land with Wolfe Tone at Bantry Bay in 1797. A large anchor stands the southern approach to town. (currently closed)

33 Mizen Head Lighthouse

More correctly the fog signal station is open to the public. Extensive display of lighthouse keeping with maritime artefacts. Cannon lifted from the nearby wreck of the Impatiente. Following repair of the bridge access resumed.

Kinsale Museum

Kinsale Museum

Figurehead and bells from ships wrecked locally in market house in centre of town including cannon retrieved from shipwrecks. Several Lusitania artefacts.

Cobh Museum

In old church off road into town contains paintings of cork harbour Contains photos of US fleet in cork during WW1.

Titanic Display Cobh

Display relating to emigration from Cobh

34 Fenit Pier Museum

Contains boat which landed Roger Casement from U 19

35 Limerick City Museum

Full diving dress used in harbour work locally

36 Valentia Island Museum, Knightstown

Display on cable laying in 1890s from Valentia, you can see the cable on a beach nearby and the buildings of the cable and radio station survive.

37 Quilty Co Clare

Church erected with assistance from rescued sailors of Leon XIII, wrecked offshore in 1907, the bell at altar is the ship’s bell.

38 Beleek castle Hotel Ballina Co Mayo

Donegal and Northern Ireland

Straid Gallery, Glencolumcille, Co Donegal

Paintings by Kenneth King

39 Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Photo collection of Belfast shipbuilding including the Harland and Wolfe archive, Lloyds list reprint from 1741-1846. Some ship models

40 Ulster Museum – Belfast

The main finds from the wrecks of Trinidad Valencera and Girona of the 1588 Spanish Armada including siege gun and vast array of jewellery and artifacts.

41 Burtonport Memorial

Commemorates fishermen lost from Carraig Una and Evelyn Marie

42 Greencastle Museum, Greencastle Co. Donegal

Armada cannon from the Trinidad Valencera and material from HMS Wasp wrecked at Tory Island.

43 Fort Dunree – Co Donegal

Exhibition on coastal artillery and WW2 defence of the treaty ports. Also surviving naval guns from Cork harbour, cannon from Hoche on which Wolfe tone was captured in 1798

44 Newry town Hall Museum

Models and material relating to loss of Connemara and Retriever and Newry shipping.

45 Laurentic Memorial, Co. Donegal

Memorial stone over graves of HMS Laurentic victims at Buncranna. The Bell is in the church at Rathmullen.

46 Derry Museum

Armada cannon and artefacts from Trinidad Valencera.

47 HMS Caroline – Belfast Harbour

HMS Caroline

Formerly a RNVR base the degunned cruiser is the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland. Not accessable currently, a project to move the vessel to Portsmouth is under consideration as alternative to display on site.

48 The Titanic Exhibitions in Belfast

The remains of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast where the Titanic was built, Thompson graving dock, drawing office, New Titanic exhibition centre in modern building. Two huge shipbuilding cranes (Sampson & Golliath) which replaced the Arol gantries about 1960.

Balbriggan Maritime Museum

Maritime Art

A project in early stages being prepared by a local group in a former lifeboat house near the harbour based on Balbriggan Maritime heritage.