Tuesday 17 December 2013

Museum of London

The Museum of London is a fabulous resource for exploring the history of London. The younger two children have been learning about the Stuarts so this seemed an ideal time to visit the War, Plague and Fire Gallery and to have a wander round the Expanding City (1666-1850s) Gallery before starting to learn about the Georgians.

The Museum itself is in the middle of a modern, and to my taste, rather ugly modern development, called the Barbican. It wasn't encouraging on a grey December day! Outside, however, there is  large monument to John Wesley with his own description of his conversion.

Whilst the Museum is in a modern development, the remains of the Roman walls of Londinium are just outside. It is amazing to think that these walls are about eighteen hundred years old.

The galleries are fun, interactive places for children with plenty to see, hear, touch and smell. My favourite part was a short film about the great fire with a model London in front of the screen. All the words in the video are quotes from three diarists of the time.  For a taster, take a look at the information and video on this page. There is also a linked website just about the Great Fire of London.

The Expanding City Gallery is large with a section devoted to Pleasure Gardens filled with manikins in period costume. The lighting in this area is low and between this and with the limitations of camera and operator, the pictures are poor. This is the best that I managed.

The Fanshawe dress is amazing-there is a picture here but this doesn't do justice to the beautiful woven silk.
I loved the trinket boxes.

We wandered through the Victorian shops, saw the prison and onto more modern times. Lyons tearooms were appealing although nothing to do with either Stewart or Georgian times!

This is a recommended afternoon in London and is free except for special exhibitions. There was more than enough in the free section to keep my four and seven year old busy for almost a couple of hours. 

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