This is quite an interesting Museum, and like many others it has free admission. There is a good and fairly cheap costing guide book for the museum. The museum depicts the story of London and there are also visiting and temporary exhibitions.
During 2011 and 2012 they gave space over to an exhibition entitled "Dickens and London"; they levied a charge for tickets. It was reasonable as exhibitions go, although it had much more of a focus on London rather than Dickens!
There is an excellent bookshop and a decent cafe.
Anyone with even a passing interest in the history of the city they are visiting should put this museum high on their “to do” list! It was one of my favourites as a child, and it has grown and improved so much since then so now I think it’s just about as good as a museum can get – and best of all, it’s free!
The museum tells the story of London from its very earliest days in prehistoric times, through its first real development under the Romans, its growth during medieval times and on through the centuries to its role as the centre of the British Empire under Victoria. The 20th century galleries include fashion, popular culture (older visitors will remember the Swinging Sixties when London was the capital of cool!), immigration, the war years and much more.
One must-see exhibit is the diorama of the Great Fire – very effective. Another is the Lord Mayor’s stage coach, still used at the annual Lord Mayor’s Parade each November. But whatever your interest, I’m sure you’ll find something to interest you here.
When you’re tired and in need of refreshments, there are a couple of options. We recently had a very good coffee and cakes in the attractive Sackler Hall Café on the lower floor (modern galleries section), and there’s also a café on the floor above, near the main entrance. If you prefer to bring your own lunch there’s a space set aside for eating and drinking, which is especially popular with organised school groups – you have been warned!
The museum is open every day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (apart from 24th-26th December). And as I said, it’s totally free – though some special exhibitions may be charged for.
The Museum is situated near Canary Wharf in South East London. I spent two to two and a half hours looking around and learning about London Docklands' history from the Roman Settlement to the regeneration of the docklands today. I particularly enjoyed the London Sugar and Slavery exhibition and uncovered more about London's involvement in the slave trade. As well as the slave trade, there are key exhibitions such as the 'First Port of Empire 1840-1880', 'Warehouse of the World 1880-1939' and 'Docklands at War 1938-1945'. If it wasn't for the very hot weather on the day I went I would have spent longer and gave the musuem the justice it deserved. This warrants me to do another visit in the not too distant future.
The museum is free of charge but encourages voluntary donations. There is an education centre, cafe and Rum and Sugar Restaurant.
If you want an easy way to get a survey of the history of London, this museum provides it. It is organized chronologically and has sections called: London before London, Roman London and Medieval London. There is a large special exhibit on the Great Fire with interactive displays, excellent graphics and the stories of some of the actual survivors. It has designed itself on the idea of a modern museum with lots of visuals and audiovisuals which make it enjoyable for young people as well as a large number of artefacts, diagrams, pictures and models.
One of the things I found most interesting is not even in the museum but is viewed through a window in the museum. It is a section of the old city wall which I think is not Roman but probably medieval. You get an elevated view of it from the museum which is a great perspective.
The museum's location is in a circular street with several entrances including a wheelchair accessible one - just check the map on their website.
Admission is free and it is open daily, Mon-Sat 10am-5:50pm, Sun 12pm-5:50pm with some evening openings at least monthly as well.
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.
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.
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!
"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!!
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!).
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.
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!
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.