Greater Manchester Police Museum & Archives – Greater Manchester, England - Atlas Obscura

Greater Manchester Police Museum & Archives

Greater Manchester, England

This 19th century police station now puts the history of the Manchester City Police on display. 

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Hidden among the trendy bars of Manchester’s Northern Quarter is a large blue door that leads into the Greater Manchester Police Museum. This small museum is filled with a rich history of police archives, prison cells, and more.

The building where the museum is housed was a functioning police station from 1879 to 1979. After the closure, it was turned into a museum to share information about Manchester’s police force and archives for the public. Exhibits cover topics such as the history of police uniforms and the history of women in policing. Items on display include a vintage police box, gas masks from World War II, a motorbike, and more. 

It isn’t just the exhibits which make the Greater Manchester Police Museum a special place—the volunteers bring the stories to life and will even place you in the court dock if needed (or if you just want to get involved and grab a photo). Many of the volunteers are former members of the police force, and their stories can really draw you in and animate the information being shared.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open to the public every Tuesday for free, between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Private tours are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. There are also some special opening days during school holidays, with extra activities to try out. From Piccadilly Station, turn right onto Newton Street and follow the road up. You will see the Police sign as you cross the cross roads.

Talk to the volunteers! They are all linked to the Police force in Greater Manchester and have a wealth of knowledge which is not shared in the exhibits, helping to bring it all alive.