Ahead of its closure at the end of this year, the Museum of London is having a six-month countdown of events that will include tours behind the scenes of the current building. At the end of this year, the museum will close and will spend the next few years moving to its new Smithfield site, with the intention to reopen in 2026.
A lot of family-oriented events for younger people will take place this summer and autumn ahead of the museum’s closure, but there will also be a chance to go behind the scenes into the stockrooms and see the preparations for the move. The tours will take place on 10th and 11th September as part of the Open House fortnight of events.
Tickets for those tours will be released when the Open House website starts accepting bookings in August.
The programme will culminate with two celebratory festivals. One for families on 26 & 27 November and a final closing festival on 2, 3 & 4 December that will celebrate the past fifty years of London history.
The museum’s chronological galleries represented a radical new approach to design when they first opened in 1976. Visitors can still follow the museum’s linear structure to explore the city’s history, from prehistory to the present day. The Roman Bucklersbury mosaic, Oliver Cromwell’s death mask, a sword belonging to Admiral Nelson, the Booth Map of Poverty, Selfridge’s art deco lifts, and a 1960s Beatles dress are among the rare and unique objects on show at the museum. Visitors will have a final chance to see these items, alongside the museum’s immersive pleasure gardens and Victorian Walk before the site closes in December.
Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London, said: “The Museum of London has been breaking ground and celebrating the capital for the last 45 years at our home in London Wall. Since first opening in 1976, we’ve welcomed over 21 million visitors, including more than 1.5 million school children since 1998. We’re hugely proud of what we’ve achieved here and remain ambitious to continue to serve Londoners with a world-class new museum in West Smithfield. Before we move, we invite you to join us one last time as we celebrate our unique collection and remember almost five decades of storytelling about this fantastic city.”
The Museum of London Docklands will remain open to visitors with a new exhibition, Executions opening in October.