Museum of London, London

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 Reviews

London Wall +44 (0)870 444 3852

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Crystal Palace
    Crystal Palace
    by Dabs
  • Museum of London
    by GrantBoone
  • Museum of London
    by GrantBoone
  • SallyM's Profile Photo

    Museum of London - new modern galleries opened

    by SallyM Updated Jun 23, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not as pretty as the British Museum on the outside

    The Museum of London, tucked away in the city, is rather overshadowed by the British Museum. But unlike its cousin in Bloomsbury, which is called ‘British’ but displays artefacts from all over the world, the Museum of London lives up to its name, with exhibits relating to the capital only.

    The galleries on the entrance level deal with the earlier period of London history, starting with the prehistoric period, ‘London before London’ and moving through Roman and Medieval London to the early modern period: ‘war, plague and fire’. The content is well-presented with a good mix of information, original artefacts, reconstructions and interactivity for younger visitors.

    The Galleries of Modern London, which have recently opened are also organised chronologically: ‘1670s-1850s: Expanding City’, ‘1850s-1940s: People’s City’ and ‘1950s-Today: World City’, along with the City Gallery and the Sackler Hall. The layout of the space however means that you do not need to follow a slavishly chronological route.

    The most modern section was in some ways the least interesting. Maybe I am simply in denial about my increasing age, but displaying modern tiny devices alongside their older and much larger predecessors is a rather obvious point. One exhibit in this section which did appeal to visitors of my age group was a sofa in front of a screen showing favourites from Watch with Mother: The Woodentops, Andy Pandy and Bill and Ben, alongside actual puppets.

    Going back in time to the 1850s to 1940s, there is a Lyons Corner House, or at least the window of one, complete with a display of cakes and boxes of ‘Nippy’ chocolates. A cleverly-designed projection on the other side of the window gave the impression of a bustling restaurant within. At a table outside the restaurant you can read a 1939 menu. Calf's head salad followed by stewed prunes and rice, anyone?

    Of course, those tucking into their calf’s head salad followed by prunes and rice in 1939 were probably aware that war was on the horizon. The war is covered through audiovisual presentations of films of the devastation and recordings of the recollections of ordinary Londoners. A further exhibit consists of open suitcases which light up to reveal the items an evacuated child might have packed, as well as letters and diary entries of evacuees.

    Another highlight is the ‘Victorian walk’ – a series of recreated shopfronts displaying typical wares. As well as a toyshop, tobacconist, barber, pawnbroker, bank, post office, pub, tailor, pharmacy, milliner’s, grocer’s and ‘fancy stationer’s’ there is even a gentlemen’s urinal. No ladies’ though – Victorian ladies were not expected to require such a facility.

    The centrepiece of the 1670s to 1850s section is a recreation of a London pleasure garden. I was less impressed with this than with the Victorian walk, but it was nevertheless well done, with clever projection bringing the scene to life. I was fascinated by the wooden-walled prison cell from the Wellclose Square prison, generally used for debtors. Inmates had carved their names on the walls with an impressive degree of skill in lettering. One temporary resident had even added a heartfelt rhyme:
    ‘The cupboard is empty, to our sorrow
    But we hope it will be full tomorrow’

    There is also a rather good interactive exhibit on the 'Great Stink' which made the need for a proper sewage system apparent. I won't give away too much, but don't be too trusting when invited to 'touch'.

    Admission is free.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    Museum of London

    by Britannia2 Updated Mar 25, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museum of London

    The museum covers all of London's history from as early as 450,000BC to World War 2. The exhibits and models are quite good but rather perfunctory - this would class as one of those museums the kids would be asking to leave early. That is for now................on May 28, 2010 new galleries will open in the museum and tell the story of London from 1666 to the present day - this promises to be a big new development and I will revisit.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    London: Evolution of a World-City

    by yooperprof Written Aug 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    model of the old St. Paul's Cathedral
    2 more images

    I wouldn't call the Museum of London a "first-tier" attraction - in the category of St. Paul's or the National Gallery or Regent's Park. But any one who is a true fan of London will want to pay a visit to the Museum of London sooner rather than later. This is a very good museum of local and regional history, and also an institution that is currently (2009) undergoing a serious, prolonged re-creation of its major exhibits and displays. By the time that the work is completed late in 2009 there will be even more reasons to visit the Museum of London.

    I was particularly impressed with the exhibit - including dioramas and and excellent short film - about the Great Fire of 1666. Also, if you are interested in the Roman heritage of London, there are a few exhibits of fascinating statuary and devotional objects found in various archeological digs in and around the Greater London area.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo

    The Museum of London.

    by Maurizioago Updated Jul 20, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A car into the museum.

    This is the right place to learn something about the history of this city; from the beginning to today.

    One of the section I enjoyed more here was the one with some Victorian shops (XIX century). Yes, they are reals ones!

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jim_edmonds177's Profile Photo

    The Museum of London

    by Jim_edmonds177 Written Dec 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    "Every Single Day and Every Single Night
    As the birds make it Bright
    We pass and get down
    By the Museum of London"

    I won't forget that, hehe, that's what the good ol' lady on the side was singing, attracting us towards this fine Museum. This place is open everyday until around 5:30pm, do check the website however as scheduals may change, I have provided the link below. You know I could not have agreed more with Liza, since the museum is free what do you have to lose, so much see and explore about the history of this amazing city, you must check it out if you've made it here!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Museum of London

    by Sjalen Updated Jan 27, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I went here when I lived in London, long before I was a VT member, so there is no photo, but this is in fact one of my favourite London museums simply because it tells the story of the city itself! From the days long before there was even a city here, and scatterings of people lived along the Thames, to Roman "Londinium" and onto the Medieval city and then the Great fire of London in 1666, followed by the sprawl of London into the city centre we know today in the 18th century when villages such as Knightsbridge ended up belonging to London. You get to know more about famous Londoners such as Samuel Pepys and Christopher Wren and well...put at least half a day aside to it if you love London like I do. Inside the museum you also get a good view of what is left of London's Roman defense wall (hence the museum address!).

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    MUSEUM OF LONDON

    by Helga67 Updated Dec 7, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum of London traces the history of London from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Not to be missed: Lord Mayor's Coach, a gilt-and-scarlet fairy-tale coach built in 1757, the Great Fire of London, the death mask of Oliver Cromwell, and cell doors from Newgate Prison, made famous by Charles Dickens.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo

    Museum of London...

    by BluBluBlu Written Jul 29, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This museum charts the history of London from prehistoric times, and is very well laid out, with various exhibitions through the ages, and with some fascinating artifacts. Even being London born and bred theres a lot of things of interest!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Museum of London

    by Airpunk Written May 26, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Museum of London
    1 more image

    The Museum of London focuses on the history fo the city from early settlings through roman, medieval and victorian eras to the modern metropolis which it is today. Some parts (for example roman) are very well represented while some (for example the Tudor era) are more than underrepresented. The exhibition is good and you can easily spend 2 or three hours in the museum. A part of the old roman wall is on the museum ground and can be ssen from the building.

    Like in the British Museum, there is no entry charge for the permamnent exhibition but this may be applied for temporary special exhibitions.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • London before London

    by Mariajoy Updated Dec 9, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Built in 1976, this museum is free (some exhibitions have to be paid for ) and gives the entire history and prehistory of London. It is fascinating - but it is easy to get lost in here (at least... it was easy for ME to get lost in here... maybe that's just me :))

    The Roman exhibition is amazing - there are coffins preserved in mud of the Thames and now on display... all kinds of artefacts, tools and pots etc, all beautifully and creatively displayed.

    It is built right next to the London Wall (Roman wall built around the City of London see off the beaten path tip) and there is an angled window on Level 1 where you can see the remains of the wall without actually having to go outside into the freezing March winds to look at it.

    Anyway, there's a cafe (you DO have to go outside to get to it) where you can get tea and a piece of cake or sandwich for just under 5 pounds. It's a rip off. But that's London. Expect to pay those kind of prices then you won't be surprised. I had an egg sandwich and tea for 3.75 GBP.

    The museum has a fab website and you can find loads more info there.

    Definitely well worth a visit and there's loads more to see and do while you are in the area.

    Was this review helpful?

  • daryll's Profile Photo

    Museum of London

    by daryll Updated Jul 11, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museum of London

    Ever wonder London become so famous, or how did it survived from the Great Fire of London and become one of popular destination.
    Museum of London contains, history and events that happen to London previously until present. And it's free.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    The whole story (almost).

    by planxty Written May 28, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museum of London, London Wall.

    This tip is about the museum of London on the historic street (now redeveloped) of London Wall, which was, as the name suggests, the site of the old Roman wall.

    It traces the story of London from prehistory until just before the First World War. There are many "dioramas" set up, including a roman shooping street, and a similar street from Victorian times, complete with a mock-up pub.

    The centrepiece of the Museum is the Lord Mayor's coach, a truly magnificent vehicle which only leaves for the Lord Mayor's Annual Show and coronations.

    Currently, the medieaval exhibition is closed for renovation (until Autumn 2005) but, even allowing for this absence, you could easily spend a full day there.

    Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of £2 / $2US or €2, well worth it.

    There are also periodic exhibitions at extra cost, although if you have an annual ticket for Museum in Docklands (see seperate tip) they are free.

    As an additional attraction, there is currently a sculptor in residence who you can talk to and watch working. Altogether, a great day out.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Museum of London

    by Andyf1963 Written Mar 23, 2005

    As a londoner this is my favourite Museum.
    As you enter it you pass through London from its beginings right through Roman Times,the Tudors and all the way into what London will look like in the Future.
    You can walk through Victorian london street scenes and view photos and costumes of every Era.

    It is a fascinating place that is easily missed.

    Get off at St Pauls or Barbican tube.
    It is signposted.
    It is also free.

    Go on a saturday when the area is quiet.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • cruisingbug's Profile Photo

    Museum of London

    by cruisingbug Updated Feb 14, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Roman ruins at Museum of London

    The Museum of London gives visitors an overview of London city history, from its ancient Roman roots to the Great Fire of London (don't miss the Great Fire "theatre") to more recent historia. One could easily (and we did) spend hours wandering through the interesting exhibits.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • ShinerBlonde's Profile Photo

    Museum of London

    by ShinerBlonde Written Jan 19, 2005

    If you're looking into more history on London and London City itself , visit this Museum. It's quite fun. You get all the history of the area (even back to ancient times) and the stuff they have is pretty cool.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: London

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

69 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Museum of London
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
0.3 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
3 Reviews
0.3 miles away
Show Prices

View all London hotels