Museum of London

The Lord Mayor of London's state coach in its gallery at the Museum of London
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Step inside Museum of London for an unforgettable journey through the capital’s turbulent past.

The Museum of London tells the story of the world’s greatest city and its people. It cares for more than two million objects in its collections and attracts over 400,000 visitors per year. It holds the largest archaeological archive in Europe.

The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC) and the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology form part of the Museum of London’s Department of Archives and Archaeological Collections.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Museum and Shop opening times:
Open daily 10.00-18.00
Last admission 17.30
Café opening times:
Open 10.00-17.00

Closed: 24-26 December

Admission charges

Entry to the Museum of London is free to all. Groups of 10+ (school, college and adult) must book in advance. Call the Box Office on 020 7001 9844 or e-mail groups@museumoflondon.org.uk.

Discounts

  • Museums Association

Additional info

Wheelchairs: The Museum has powered and manual wheelchairs, which may be borrowed free of charge for the duration of your visit. Please ask at the admissions desk.

Large print events brochures, map and audio guides: Our events brochure and map of the Museum's galleries is available in large print. Please ask upon arrival or telephone 020 7001 9844. There are also audio tours available. The tour is available free of charge to blind or partially sighted visitors.

Induction loop: The Museum's audio facilities (including audio tours) are suitable for the hard of hearing. Our induction loops can be used by any visitor with a hearing aid fitted with a T switch.

Events: We have a range of events which are suitable for blind or partially sighted visitors. Please ask for an events brochure or call our box office team on 0870 444 3850. They will be pleased to assist you.

Toilets and lifts: There are disabled toilets and access by lift to all levels of the Museum. Please telephone 0870 444 3850 prior to your visit if you would like further details.

The entire collection of the Museum of London is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The museum of London charts the history of the capital and its people from the prehistoric period to the present day. Its galleries and exhibitions make sensitive use of both traditional and modern interactive techniques, and the museum has long been committed to educational and outreach services.

The extensive collections contain highly significant ranges of archaeological material from London, and include the London Archaeological Archive of finds and records from over 25 years of excavations. Social and working history collections, costume and decorative arts, paintings, pictures and photographs illustrate London's development since 1700, and the museum's contemporary collecting policy seeks to reflect the ever-changing pattern of London life in London.

The collections are divided between two departments:

The Department of Archaeological Collections and Archive: Material relating to London from the prehistoric period to c.1700. This includes the Archaeological Archive, housing material from archaeological excavations in London.

The Department of History Collections: Material relating to London from c.1700 to the present day.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Social History, Science and Technology, Personalities, Music, Medicine, Maritime, Land Transport, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Prehistoric
  • Roman
  • Saxon and Medieval
  • Tudor and Stuart
  • Costume and Decorative Arts
  • Oral History and Contemporary Collecting
  • The Collecting 2000 project
  • Painting, Prints and Drawings
  • Photographs
  • Social and Working History
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The London 2012 Cauldron: Designing a Monument

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Our new home for the London 2012 Cauldron tells the story of this iconic symbol of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The new gallery celebrates Thomas Heatherwick’s cutting edge design and the unforgettable moment it was revealed to the world during the Olympic opening ceremony.

"A ceremony that celebrates the creativity, eccentricity, daring and openness of the British genius by harnessing the genius, creativity, eccentricity, daring and openness of modern London."
Danny Boyle, Olympic Opening Ceremony Artistic Director

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/the-london-2012-cauldron-designing-moment/

The City Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Showcasing our most iconic treasure.

The centrepiece of our City Gallery is the magnificent Lord Mayor’s Coach, which is now more than 250 years old. Iconic and beautifully crafted, it was commissioned in 1757 for that year’s Lord Mayor's Show, which it still leaves the Museum every November to participate in.

This spectacular gallery celebrates the City of London itself through displays that showcase this area’s unique character, a place where ancient traditions exist side-by-side with cutting edge architecture.

The lives of City people and the activities associated with this part of the capital can be seen in objects ranging from a coachman’s state uniform and the Sheriff of London’s badge to a Blackberry owned by the Lord Mayor in 2008-9.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/city-gallery/

World City: 1950s-today

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

After facing poverty and war, London emerged as a rejuvenated, vibrant modern city for the masses.

London became a new kind of world city. A youth and multicultural revolution saw Londoners absorb new values and claim new rights. By the end of the 20th century, the diversity of its people was at the heart of London’s identity.

Homes were transformed by new forms of entertainment, technology and fashion. Television puppets Bill and Ben delighted London’s children in the 1950s, the first Apple Mac computers appeared in Londoners’ homes in the 1980s and fashion in the capital shifted from Biba and Mary Quant in the 1960s to Alexander McQueen and Tatty Devine in the 2000s.

As well as looking back, we face up to London’s future. One enormous image imagines what London will look like in years to come while a flowing interactive river lets you debate the issues affecting London today, from burial space to climate change.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/world-city-1950s-today/

People's City: 1850s-1940s

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

How London’s rapid expansion created a wealthy but divided city.

By the 1850s, London was the world’s wealthiest city but success came at a price. Population growth created a divided city, with Londoners living in separate worlds of rich and poor.

This was a time of conflict when workers united to fight for their rights, imprisoned Suffragettes went on hunger strike and communist and fascist groups emerged as the nation moved closer to war. It was also a time of wealth and glamour.

The social divide is reflected in the galleries. A room wallpapered with Charles Booth’s poverty maps sits alongside a stunning art deco lift from Selfridges, a glamorous symbol of the emerging West End.

As you leave the dazzling lights of the theatres and restaurants, enter a dark and immersive war room decorated starkly with a suspended bomb, showing a blitzed city unsure of its survival.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/peoples-city-1850s-1940s/

Expanding City: 1666-1850s

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Discover a city rebuilding itself after the Great Fire.

This gallery explores London’s rapid growth after 1666. The centrepiece is a 240 year old printing press that spills news stories across the gallery in an innovative collision of new and old technologies.

Admire museum treasures, including Nelson's sword, an original door from Newgate Prison and the extraordinary aerial view of the 1806 Rhinebeck Panorama, as you walk over cases embedded underfoot.

London was the capital of a vast empire and this global influence was seen in the goods that Londoners could buy, from Indian cashmere to fans from China. Similarly, immigrants brought new skills that benefited the business and cultural life of the city. In size and population, wealth and power, there had never been a city like it.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/expanding-city-1666-1850s/

War, Plague and Fire (1550s-1660s)

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

A turbulent time of great expansion and terrible devastation.

The War, Plague and Fire gallery tells the story of London from Elizabethan times, through the ravages of the English Civil Wars and the cataclysmic disasters of the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666.

Rich displays of artefacts and documents bring to life the key events of this period from the execution of King Charles I to the 100,000 deaths of the Great Plague and the destruction of the Great Fire, which razed a third of the city.

Don't miss: a detailed model of the Rose Theatre where Shakespeare performed
Oliver Cromwell’s death mask
a fireman’s helmet from the late 1600s

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/war-plague-fire/

Medieval London

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Discover the story of London from the collapse of the Roman city in the 400s to the accession of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558.

During the medieval period the city of London was destroyed by invaders, racked by famine, fire and disease, and torn apart by religious and political controversy. Still it grew to become one of the largest, wealthiest and most important cities in Europe and a place of truly international status.

London's story is illustrated by over 1300 exhibits, which include children's toys, fraudulent dice and a gold crucifix containing what purported to be a fragment of the True Cross. Many items come from recent archaeological digs, where deep waterlogged deposits along the Thames have preserved England's finest surviving collection of medieval leatherwork.

Don't miss: a gold and garnet brooch from the mid 600s, found in a grave in Covent Garden
stunning late 15th century altar paintings believed to have come from a chapel at Westminster Abbey
wince-inducing pointed shoes that were the height of fashion in the 1380s

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/medieval/

Roman London

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Discover what life was like in Londinium and see everyday Roman objects from homeware to precious jewellery.

The Romans built the city where London now stands, bridging the Thames and constructing the roads that connected Londinium with the rest of the country. From around AD 50 to 410 – a period as long as that which separates Queen Elizabeth I from our present Queen – this was the largest city in Britannia, a vital port through which goods were imported from all over the world.

Don't miss: a Roman leather bikini
marble sculptures from the Temple of Mithras, among the finest works of art ever found in Roman Britain
a rare limestone sarcophagus which contained the remains of a 4th century woman who came to London from the south west of the Roman Empire.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/roman-london/

London Before London

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Discover the story of the Thames Valley and the people who lived there from 450,000 BC to the coming of the Romans in AD 50.

Our London Before London gallery explores the prehistoric story of the Thames Valley from 450,000 BC to the arrival of the Romans in AD 50.

Beginning when London was a wilderness and the local population would fit on a double-decker bus, London before London explores the relationship between humans and their surroundings.

Don't miss: the impressive skull of an extinct auroch (wild ox) which inhabited London during 245,000-186,000 BC
a 6000 year old ceremonial axehead, made from jadeite brought to London from the Western Alps
the remains of the Shepperton woman, one of the oldest people to have been found in the London region. The skeleton is between 5,640 and 5,100 years old and is displayed alongside a facial reconstruction.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/galleries/london-london/

Portraits by Niall McDiarmid

Here and Now: London portraits by Niall McDiarmid

  • 18 May — 15 October 2017 *on now

For more than six years, photographer Niall McDiarmid has been documenting the people he meets around London. These highly saturated portraits taken no more than a few yards from the initial meeting point construct a collective identity of London today.

My Point Forward, video still

My Point Forward

  • 18 May — 24 September 2017 *on now

Step into a corner of London and look around. Gaze at the towers in the distance. Pick out the path trodden through the park or the eddy in the river. And then jump decades into the future to imagine a new London and your place within it. Featuring a series of short films, this interactive installation by pioneering artists group Blast Theory invites you to add your narrative of the city to build a personal and meditative portrait of the future.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=123009

Junk

  • 30 June — 1 October 2017 *on now

The concept of recycling is nothing new. For centuries items have been carefully repaired, altered or broken down for reuse or recycling. This small display shows how almost all items thrown out by one person can be used and treasured by another.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Time to Play

  • 7 July — 31 August 2017 *on now

This display explores the impact of urbanisation on playing outdoors and current initiatives to help parents create new play opportunities for their children.

Urbanisation

The City is Ours

  • 14 July 2017 — 2 January 2018 *on now

In this interactive exhibition, see how and why cities are changing and what urban communities around the world are doing to improve city life. Look at what data has to tell us about the urbanisation of our planet in a dramatic visualisation. Get hands-on to explore challenges facing cities around the world, from the use of digital technologies to housing and homelessness. Discover new innovations from social housing in Chile to underground bike storage in Tokyo. Share your opinions and find out about local London initiatives too.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/exhibitions/the-city-is-ours

Real-time London Data Visualisation, Tekja

Pulse

  • 14 July 2017 — 15 April 2018 *on now

Pulse is a digital installation that will collect, analyse and visualise live data about London for the duration of the City is Ours exhibition. Data harvested from social media will be visualised in real time to give insights into the city's everyday happenings and moods.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=117808

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
West End Theatre

West End Theatre

  • 26 August 2017 2-3:30pm

Explore the secrets of the stage and delve into the iconic and internationally renowned world of the West End theatre and hear the stories from behind the curtain of these legendary stages, including The Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Garrick Theatre, The Coliseum, Drury Lane Theatre, Royal Opera House and the 'Actor's Church' St Paul's.

Admission

£12.50, conc £10, book in advance

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/book?instance=299832

Londinium

Roman London

  • 17 September 2017 2-3:30pm
  • 15 October 2017 2-3:30pm

Join us on this journey around the Roman city of Londinium and discover what remains of this ancient civilisation in London. Visit the Roman Wall, the site of the amphitheatre and walk through the Eastern city to the site of Roman London's grandest monument, the forum and basilica.

Admission

£12.50, conc £10, book in advance

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=2008

Raking in the Lea Valley

The City is Ours lunchtime sessions: OrganicLea

  • 24 — 28 August 2017

What's in your salad? This workshop will explore the differences between a supermarket salad bag and one from a community growing project. Explore the contents of the bags, how the salads were grown, and how each of them affected the environment and community. The workshop will be led by OrganicLea, a worker's co-operative set up in the Lea Valley.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=121809

Julie Riehl

Hack it: grow your own food

  • 26 August 2017 1:30-4pm

Get your hands dirty in this DIY veg growing workshop. Join Julie Riehl of Capital Growth, London’s food growing network, and learn how to grow your own food in the smallest of city spaces.

Admission

£25 (£21/£20 concs)

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=115209

Planting the fruit route

The City is ours lunchtime sessions: Hanwell Orchard Trail

  • 31 August 2017 1-2pm

Come and find out about this local community project that plants and cares for a trail of publicly accessible orchards in the Grand Union Canal corridor in Hanwell. Learn how to build nature and wildlife habitat improvements in the city and help London become a more sustainable place.

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=122408

Runner playing cards with older woman

The City is Ours lunchtime sessions: GoodGym

  • 7 September 2017 1-2pm

GoodGym is a community of runners that combine getting fit with doing good. They combine their runs to do physical tasks for community organisations and to support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can't do on their own. Come and find out how you can make a contribution to improving quality of life for older people in London and keep fit at the same time!

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=122208

The London salon: protest

  • 12 September 2017 7-10pm

This salon will feature talks, performances and film screenings with leading writers, thinkers and practitioners that explore protest, dissent and subversive strategies in the city, from alternative responses to gentrification, activism in suburbia, and power and precarity in the modern city. Entry includes a drink.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£15 (£12/£11 concs)

Volunteer sorting out and re-packing coats for distribution.

The City is Ours lunchtime sessions: Wrap Up London

  • 14 September 2017 1-2pm

Come and donate your unwanted winter coats and jackets to the city’s most vulnerable people in need. Wrap Up London is a charity that collects thousands of coats every year and re-distributes them directly to homeless shelters and refuges. They are going to set up a pop-up collection point in our Inspiring London gallery and you are welcome to contribute!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=122008

Image of John Rensten: Founder of Forage London

Hack it: urban foraging

  • 16 September 2017 1:30-4pm

Wild foods grow in the most surprising of places, including right in the heart of the city. Join John Rensten, founder of Forage London and self-confessed wild food obsessive, on a foraging walk around the Square Mile to investigate some of these green spaces and take home a copy of John's book, The Edible City: A Year of Wild Food.

Admission

£39 (£33/£32 concs)

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=115408

London, 1666. Created by Blockworks

Video games and design: Minecraft

  • 18 September 2017 7-8:30pm

Has Minecraft changed the way architecture and design is taught and practiced? Since its launch in 2009, Minecraft has become one of the world’s most popular video games and garnered the attention of architects and designers across the globe. More than 100 million people have an account on Minecraft, where they can build their own worlds and inhabit them through play. These fictional worlds empower people to transform their own environments, customise their needs and dreams. This talk will investigate how Minecraft has shifted the way we design and see the world bridging the gaps between design and reality.

Admission

£12 (£9/£8 concs)

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=115008

Image of the Living Under One Sun beekeepers

The City is Ours lunchtime sessions: Living Under One Sun

  • 21 September 2017 1-2pm

Join us for a herbal workshop with produce from the Living Under One Sun allotment and learn how to make herbal tea blends and lip balms! Living Under One Sun is a not-for-profit organisation in Tottenham, actively creating places for communities to meet and shape their neighbourhood. They deliver programmes in food growing and aim to bring nature a little bit closer to communities.

Website

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/event-detail?id=121808

Image of London’s first co-housing project

The City is Ours lunchtime sessions: Copper Lane project

  • 28 September 2017 1-2pm

The architects behind London’s first co-housing project will talk about how they designed 1-6 Copper Lane for a group of residents who pooled money together to build six individual houses with shared communal spaces.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Londinium game

Designed for KS2 students, this game uses Roman objects and information about the shops on a Roman high street to help players learn about life in Roman London. Take a trip through a Londinium high street, identifying the items and returning them to the correct shops.

All Dressed Up

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/English/Collections/OnlineResources/X20L/Games/alldressedup.htm

This game is dressing up with a difference. Not only can you create a character, but you can dress them with real clothes from the 20th Century. What will you do? Create a cunning disguise for a 20th Century undercover agent, or simply have fun mixing up all your options. The choice is yours!

Digging up the Romans

Learn about Roman people, town life, invasion & settlement, army, beliefs and crafts, roads & trade.

Fortunata and the Four Gods

An interactive story for students with special educational needs told as a chant, in call-and-response. The resource includes teachers notes on how to use the story with your class. The main
storyteller (in this case, the voice on the story’s audio track) calls a line of the story and everyone
responds by repeating the line back. This style of telling stories was developed as a teaching strategy
by Keith Park, a teacher, author and storyteller, as a way of including pupils with severe and profound
learning disabilities in larger group activities, and make drama and literacy work more accessible.

SEN accessible object pages

These accessible object pages aim to help students with learning difficulties interact online with objects in our collection. They use a variety of media to interpret the objects so pupils can explore a 3D object by zooming into it and moving it around. There is a short written caption along with a key-word signing video of this caption with audio. Where possible, an image is also provided to give the object more context.

Starting out

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/startingout

A game for KS4 students to help teach financial management. Players imagine they have just left school and are about to start a new life in London. They choose a career path and where they will live then make choices about their lifestyle and how to spend their money.

Languages

  • ENglish

The Great Fire of London website

An interactive story for use as a class activity and individually at KS1. Travel back in time to London in 1666 and help put out the Great Fire.

Publisher

  • Museum of London
  • The National Archives
  • London Fire Brigade Museum
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • London Metropolitan Archives

The Postcodes Project: London's Neighbourhood Stories

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/postcodes

The Museum of London holds a wide range of objects from across the city. To highlight some of their fascinating local stories we have selected a single object for each London postcode area. The site can be used in various ways: taking a themed tour, selecting an area on the map, looking for a specific place or using the arrows to move around. You can add to the richness of the site by submitting your own local stories.

Museum of London
London Wall
London
City of London
EC2Y 5HN
England

Website

www.museumoflondon.org.uk

E-mail

info@museumoflondon.org.uk

Telephone

020 7001 9844

Fax

020 7600 1058

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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