The museum dedicated to the man who accidentally discovered penicillin has become a free museum after it scrapped the entry charges to visit.

The Alexander Fleming Museum is, to be honest, not that amazing, being a couple of exhibition rooms, and then the Hallowed Space, where he famously left his window open in a dirty lab and discovered penicillin. The Hallowed Space is however just a recreation. It has largely original objects, but for many years, the room was used to store nappies for the maternity ward next door, and it was only in 1993 that the space was converted back into Fleming’s laboratory.

There’s also a video which goes into a lot more detail about his discovery, and much more importantly, mentions the work a few years later by people you’ve probably never heard of that turned an academic curiosity into a life-saving medicine.

It also used to cost £4 per person to visit, which wasn’t a lot, but then it’s not a lot of museum either. However, they’ve now scrapped the charge to visit, so it’s completely free, and while it’s still a modest little museum, being free to visit makes it a smidge better as a place to visit.

However, before the pandemic, you could turn up whenever it was open as it was staffed by volunteers, but now the museum is open on weekdays by advance appointment only made by contacting museum curator Kevin.Brown5@nhs.net.

The museum can be found around the side of St Mary’s hospital, by the main entrance on Praed Street — look for the iron gates and big brick arch opposite Norfolk Place.

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