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Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the history of London from prehistoric times to the modern era. The museum comprises of two locations. The main museum known as the Museum of London is located near the Barbican Centre, just a few minutes walk from St Paul's Cathedral. The other, the Museum of London Docklands is about 7 km (4.5 miles) away on the Isle of Dogs in East London. Entry to the museums at the two locations is free.

Both museums comprise of several themed galleries according to various periods in London’s history but with different focuses.

  • The Museum of London tells about the social history of London and its inhabitants through the ages.
  • The Museum of London Dockland tells about the history of London’s River Thames and the Docklands. 

Exhibits include a large collection of historical artefacts as well as models, photographs and interactive displays.

Ancient Roman wall outside the Museum of London by The Wub

Museum of London

Galleries at the Museum of London include London before London telling about the history of London before it existed from prehistoric times to 50 AD. The gallery tells about the lives of people who lived in the Lower Thames Valley and exhibits include artefacts from the Neolithic period, Bronze Age and Iron Age. The Roman London gallery explores the beginning of London when the Romans created the settlement of Londonium in 50 AD, which was to become the largest city in Britannia. Medieval London covers the period from the end of Roman rule in 410 AD to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558.

War, Plague & Fire tells about the period from the 1550s to 1660s covering the execution of King Charles I, the Great Plague, the Great Fire of London and the English Civil War. Expanding City tells the story of how London developed from the 1670s to the 1850s to become the largest city in the world. The People’s City gallery tells about the thriving city of London from the 1850s to 1940s covering the Victorian era and two world wars. World City covers the period from the 1950s to the present describing London’s post-war generation, youth revolution, the cultural diversity and lost of traditional industries to new industries.

Museum of London by Zde

Visiting the Museum of London

The Museum of London opens daily throughout the year except on 24th, 25th and 25th December. Opening hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the last admission at 5:30 p.m. The nearest London Underground stations are Barbican Station (serving the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines) and St Paul’s Station (serving the Central Line). Both stations are about five minutes walk from the Museum of London.

Museum of London on the Map

150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN, UK

Museum of London Docklands

Galleries at the Museum of London Docklands include Trade Expansion, which covers the period from 1600 to 1800 and tells about the merchants, sailors and even pirates who transformed London into a major port. London, Sugar and Slavery covers the period from 1600 to the present telling how the transatlantic trade of African slaves and sugar from the West Indies transformed London. City and River tells the transformation of London’s river and port from 1800 to 1840 with buildings of new complexes, bridges and tunnels. The Sailortown gallery recreates the dark alleyways and atmosphere of London’s Sailortown from 1840 to 1850.

First Port of Empire covers the period from 1840 to 1880 describing how the Docklands spread British power and trade across the globe. The Warehouse of the World gallery tells about the warehouses and cargoes at the Docklands from 1880 to 1939. Docklands at War tells the history from 1939 to 1945 about how the Docklands survived German aerial bombings and supported the war effort. New Port, New City is about the Docklands after World War II to the present describing the decline of the area from the 1960s to the 1970s and then revived as commercial and residential properties.

Museum of London Docklands by British Postal Museum & Archive

Visiting the Museum of London Docklands

The Museum of London Docklands opens daily but closes on 24th, 25th and 25th December. The museum opens from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the last admission at 5:30 p.m. The nearest London Underground station is Canary Wharf Station (serving the Jubilee Line) and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station is West India Quay Station. Riverboats under the London River Services stop at the pier located west of Canary Wharf.

Museum of London Docklands on the Map

West India Quay, London E14 4AL, UK

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