Portland Basin Museum

South Ashton under Lyne, 1/2 mile

Museum with extensive re‐enaction of historical scenes, sited by canal basins


image of portland-basin-museum

Get there

Public transport: maybe 15–20mins walk from Ashton train station. Private transport: small carpark at site, also street‐parking.


Portland Basin Museum is nothing less than a history of Tameside, Ashton‐under‐Lyne’s borough. The means is scenes in rooms, with model people, furniture and, to fill the gaps, set construction. So you get two‐up, two down house‐rooms but, wander further, you’ll find chain‐mail, fish and chip shops, blackboards and village stocks. The range of artefacts and scenes is wide—donkey‐soap? Coal‐winches? Keyboard musical instruments? Legends of the Black Knight? The story pulls them together. Large model of a Tameside industrial scene also, with some working trains and lorries. And a play area for toddlers. Signpost descriptions everywhere. Portland Basin is a a museum children can read their way through, with much to talk about. While scene‐building is an aspect of many museums, the dedication of Portland Basin Museum to this approach makes an effect. Also, Portland Basin Museum is two floors of a warehouse building, sits on a canal junction, and the basin has wharves also—so there is ample space. Given the space, Portland Basin is recommended for groups, may be better than other museums. Adults can ponder the scenes then sit in the cafe, or stroll the canal banks. For people/groups who would like this, Portland Basin Museum is worth travelling for.