Why you need to visit the Museum of London
If you want to learn about the history of the capital city, there’s no better place than the Museum of London. With the world’s largest urban history collection featuring six million objects, as well as covering multiple millennia of London’s history, the museum has built itself into the social fabric of the city. Find out more about the Museum, as well as current exhibits with us and book your tickets now.
All about the Museum of London
Where is the Museum of London?
The Museum of London is located at 150 London Wall (EC2Y 5HN). The nearest underground stations are Barbican, served by the Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines and St Paul’s, served by the Central Line. The nearest train station is Moorgate, an 8 minute walk away, with Liverpool Street a 10 minute walk away.
When did the Museum of London open?
Museums have stood in the capital for hundreds of years, however the amalgamation of the Guildhall Museum and the London Museum was agreed in 1964 and passed the year after. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth II declared the building open, with members of the public allowed to walk through the museum for the first time. However, the layout meant that there was only one route around the building, meaning patrons could learn about the capital’s history chronologically. Although tourists head to the Barbican area, the hub of all archaeological artefacts belonging to the Museum were kept at Mortimer Wheeler House, a former warehouse in Hackney.
With millions of exhibits as part of the collection, it’s no surprise that there isn’t just one Museum of London. In 2003, the Museum of London Docklands was opened, which charts the city’s history on the waters and its role in expanding global trade for the United Kingdom.
In 2010, the museum was redeveloped and redesigned, to allow for ‘modern-day’ stories to be told (from the Great Fire of 1666 onwards). In 2015, intentions were declared to move the museum to a larger space, with a provisional new opening date in 2021.
Current exhibits at the Museum of London
As well as the recently opened Beasts of London, the Museum offers visitors a chance to get up close with British history over thousands of years. Here’s just a few of the current exhibits open for members of the public to view today:
Panorama: London’s Lost View: Stretching 20 feet wide and over 200 years old, view Pierre Prévost’s panorama of the capital city, and see what London looked like before skyscrapers overtook the skyline. Offering a 360 degree view as would have been common in Georgian times, see Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament in a breathtaking painting, considered to be painted at the height of Prévost’s career.
Beyond Documentary: The camera see everything. Asking questions about society, politics and imagery, examine the photos hanging in this unique exhibition, focusing on London through set-up compositions or natural posing.
Collecting for London: With over seven million items in the museum’s possession, peek at the rich history the city has to offer. From precious objects worth millions to mundane items that you may own, take a look at the diverse cultures and people that call London home.
Permanent Galleries at the Museum of London
Balance your time at the world-class attraction with visits to galleries that are open throughout the year. With free gallery tours led by tour guides, step into the past and consider the present and future with your visit.
London Before London: 450,000 BC – AD 50
Before the city was even built, the capital’s history was forming. Discover how London became a prime location and consider the lives of those who resided in the southern areas of Britain up to 50AD.
Roman London: AD 50-410
Who controlled London in its forming years and can the presence of the Romans be felt today?
Medieval London: AD 410-1558
London wasn’t always under Roman control. Learn about the early British monarchs who ruled during the medieval era.
War, Plague & Fire: AD 1550s-1660s
Experience how it felt to live during 16th century Britain and how different groups in society lived.
Expanding City: AD 1670s-1850s
Learn how the capital city was able to rebuild itself after the Great Fire of London.
The City Gallery: AD 1757-today
Explore the ancient City of London.
People’s City: AD 1850s – 1940s
Victorian London was wealthy, proud and well-populated. How did Britain develop so fast during peacetime and wartime?
World City: AD 1950s – today
Technological and cultural revolutions continue to impact the city, but to what effect?
The London 2012 Cauldron: 2012
Relive the 2012 Olympic Games and understand the legacy of the elite sporting event.
For full details of the galleries, read here.