From Jersey Tourism website
Set by the historic harbour of St Helier, the Maritime Museum is all about seafaring, navigation and the elements, told through the stories of Jersey people.
Through interactive exhibits you can feel the force of a gale, understand the tides and learn how to design and float a ship. Immerse yourself in songs and stories of the sea, and find out about the Island's myths and legends. The Maritime Museum brings alive Jersey's maritime past.
Take a look at the restoration work being carried out on one of our historic boats where every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you can watch the ancient art of boat building as the team restore classic boats.
Find out about Jersey’s greatest philanthropist TB Davis this exhibition dedicated to the life of this great and world-renowned sailor, sponsored by Coutts.
This year marks the centenary of the loss of the RMS Titanic and a small number of items associated with the disaster are on show in the museum.
Also on display is The Art of the Model Maker which features models of HMS Jersey, Philippe de Carteret’s HMS Swallow, the Red Cross Ship Vega and many more. Find out how the HMS Havick was a flush deck sloop, which the Dutch built in 1784. After her capture she was commissioned into the Royal Navy and served in the English Channel until she was wrecked in St Aubin’s Bay by a terrible storm in November 1800. The items on display give an insight into the lives of ordinary seamen in Nelson’s Navy, as well as relating the trauma of the fateful shipwreck.
The warehouses on the New North Quay which now house the Maritime Museum were built just before the end of the 19th century.
Increased sea trade
During the 1870s to 1890s seaborne trade was continuing to develop, passenger vessels were increasing in size and there was an ever increasing amount of cargo being transported in steamers which were replacing sailing ships.
To keep pace with these changes the Harbours Committee commenced a work programme which saw the first attempt to dredge the Harbour, and also widen the North Pier to provide more space to unload steamers and provide a quicker turnaround.
In 1893 the States agreed to complete the widening of the North Pier and to provide a landing stage at the end. As the North Pier was to become a passenger quay, there were questions raised regarding the clearing away of the unsightly sheds on the quay and replacing them with properly constructed buildings. In May 1898 the committee invited offers from merchants and others who might wish to rent space on the quay. In the States budget discussed on 6 April 1899 was an item for new offices and stores on the North Pier and these went out to tender in June that year, which was won by William Green.
In late September a clerk of works was appointed and the construction proceeded apace. Five sheds were built – four large (B, C, D and E) and one smaller unit (A) at the north end.
Original architectural plans approved in 1899 show the most southerly section as Harbour Works general coal store and fitters shop. Sections B to D are shown as stores for potato export and for coal and timber. The most northerly section is shown as a carpenter’s shop.
The plans also show that the original layout included a Harbourmaster’s yard at the north end of the warehouses with a small range of merchants’ branch offices beyond.
The stores originally had earth floors but these were soon changed to gravel and tar. A crane was added in D store and B store had a first floor added in 1902, with the other stores following soon after. In the 1970s cargo operations changed with the introduction of containers and the start of roll on – roll off services in 1973, which resulted in companies moving into purpose-built sheds, leaving the stores mainly unused and empty.
They were converted and refurbished as the Maritime Museum in 1996.
The Maritime Museum is also home to a selection of pictures from the Jersey Heritage collection. Click on any image to see a full-size version