Holyhead Maritime Museum
The museum occupies the oldest surviving lifeboat house in Wales. The building was erected c.1858. Holyhead’s first lifeboat had started service in 1828. The lifeboat is now housed a little further west.
The maritime museum opened in 1986 in the former St Elbod’s Church, and moved into the old lifeboat house in 1998. Stena Line owns the building and leases it to the museum at a peppercorn rent.
The museum, run by volunteers, explains and illustrates the part played by Holyhead in the Irish Sea’s maritime history. As well as detailed model ships, there are paintings, photos, uniforms, flags and items of ships’ equipment. Ship-repair tools reflect Holyhead’s importance as a centre for ferry maintenance.
The museum has a dedicated display for the passenger ship RMS Leinster, sunk by a German torpedo in 1918 while sailing towards Holyhead. Among the objects shown is a memorial plaque for stewardess Louisa Parry. You can see our web page in her memory here.
The museum also occupies the nearby air-raid shelter, where you can read about the wartime service and sacrifice by local people.
Also on display here are the teeth and jawbone of a woolly mammoth, discovered during construction of Holyhead harbour in 1864. The relics were kept at the Natural History Museum in London until they returned to Holyhead in 2006 for permanent display at the maritime museum.
Postcode: LL65 1YD View Location Map