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:


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


  • 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The Crime Museum Uncovered

  • 9 October 2015 — 10 April 2016 *on now

For the first time ever, never-before-seen-objects from the Metropolitan Police’s Crime Museum go on public display in a major exhibition at the Museum of London.

Since its establishment by serving officers in 1875 the Crime Museum has previously only been open to police professionals and invited guests. Now, using original evidence from this extraordinary collection, we’ll unlock real-life case files to take you on an uneasy journey through some of the UK’s most notorious crimes from Dr Crippen to the Krays, the Great Train Robbery to the Millennium Dome diamond heist.

Created with the support of the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), the exhibition will consider the changing nature of crime and advances in detection over the last 140 years, as well as the challenges faced in policing the capital, such as terrorism, drugs and rioting.

Giving voice to the real people – victims, perpetrators and police officers – behind these objects we’ll explore the impact of crime, personalising what is so often depersonalised. Confronting how, as a society, we respond when normality is shattered and lives are torn apart, we’ll also be forced to question our enduring fascination with this hidden collection and its stories.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


Buy online: £12.50 (Wednesday special offer: £10)
Walk up price: £15 (Wednesday special offer: £12.50)

Buy online: £10 (Wednesday special offer: £8)
Walk up price: £12.50 (Wednesday special offer: £10)


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.

Billingsgate Roman House and Bath Tours

  • 22 August — 12 December 2015 *on now

Join us for a talk and tour of the remains of the Billingsgate Roman House & Baths, first discovered in 1848. Hidden under the buildings on Lower Thames Street, our knowledgeable guides will lead you on an unforgettable exploration of this amazing Roman site, which up until now has rarely been open to the public.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+


Book in advance at

£8, (concs £6)


Lantern Making  with Philippine Generations

Let's Celebrate

  • 5 — 6 December 2015 12-4pm

We are kicking off our celebration season at the Museum of London Docklands with an exciting family weekend combining historic and modern ways to mark special occasions. Developed together with community partners this festival is all about having fun as a family.

Get creative with our art activities, get moving in dance workshops or sit back and enjoy the show with activities including: lively dance and music performances from local community groups, traditional Filipino parol lantern making with community group Philippine Generations and beautiful henna tattoos from a visiting henna artist.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13


Free Entry


Santa Claus at the Museum of London

Santa's Grotto in the Victorian Walk

  • 5 — 6 December 2015 10am-5:15pm
  • 12 — 23 December 2015

Meet Santa in his secret grotto in our festive 19th Century Victorian Walk. Tell him your Christmas wishes and receive a special gift.

Please check availability and book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13


Tickets cost £9 or just £7 at specific times.


Sleepovers at the Museum of London

Festive Night Owls Sleepover

  • 12 — 13 December 2015 6:45pm-9:45am

Join us for a special sleepover to find out what happens in the museum at night and how Londoner's past celebrated the festive season!

Make merry with hands-on and interactive activities inspired by our city’s feasting past from the Romans to the Victorians.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13


£60 per person


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.

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.

All Dressed Up

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.

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.

Starting out

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.


  • 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.


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

The Postcodes Project: London's Neighbourhood Stories

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
City of London




020 7001 9844


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.