About the Museum

Maid of the Loch Museum

The Steam Slipway and Winch House is a vital part of the Maid’s story as it is the only means of taking the ship out of the water for inspection or repair. It is situated close to the ship and was built in 1902 and used until 1989, when it fell into disrepair.

As a Grade A listed building it attracted some generous funding and with input from our volunteers, it was rebuilt and officially opened by The Princess Royal in 2006.

In 2020 the slipway carriage was rebuilt, this time with funding mostly provided by Historic Environment Scotland. Just 3 people did the actual construction.

The Winch House has interest for steam enthusiasts, big kids and small kids alike.

The Winch House is the only working Steam Winch House in the Northern Hemisphere.

Its operational steam boiler house is open at weekends between Easter and end October so come and see the steam engine and gearing system; try stoking a ‘boiler’ or hauling on the ropes; watch a video describe how the steam powered engine pulls the Maid out of the water or how the new carriage was built by these 3 people! 

For an extra treat visit on an ‘In Steam’ weekend when our volunteer engineers have the Winch House boiler fired up and are delighted to explain how such a small engine can pull the Maid at 555 gross tons up the slipway and out of the water. You can even blow our steam whistle!

Slipway Museum Cabin

Visitors are also invited to explore our slipway museum which captures the feel and activities of a working shipyard and is set mid-20th century when the Maid of the Loch was built at the yard of A& J Inglis on the banks of the Clyde at Partick.

The permanent exhibition showcases important shipbuilding collections of tools and artifacts and tells stories surrounding shipbuilding, engineering and also the social histories involved in the building the Maid.

Be a shipbuilder! Take the chance to draw your own ship plans, be the shipyard General Manager sitting at his desk or be a welder and hold traditional tools in the museum. Could you hold a riveting tool for up to 10 hours a day?