One of the big things happening in London heritage is that the Museum of London will be moving to a new location in the Old Smithfield Market in 2025, in anticipation of that the museum will now be known as the ‘London Museum’ and will close for 3 years at the end of this year to facilitate the move.
They’ve announced a series of events as they begin the countdown to the move and closure.
From the Museum of London:
- Museum of London’s main site at London Wall will close as a visitor attraction in December 2022 in preparation for its relocation to West Smithfield
- The countdown to relocation will begin in Summer 2022 with a six-month celebration of the museum’s 45 years at London Wall
- The Museum of London in West Smithfield will host a festival curated by Londoners in 2025 ahead of opening under a new name: The London Museum
- The opening of the new museum will see the historic General Market at West Smithfield brought back to life for all Londoners to enjoy within Culture Mile, the City’s cultural district
- Museum of London Docklands will remain open throughout, and will also undergo a name change – becoming The London Museum Docklands in January 2023
I, for one, will not miss the ‘old’ Museum of London. While the museum itself was always fantastic, it’s in a weird, hard-to-find location that flummoxed many American tourists. The new location in Smithfield will be much easier to find and visit.
From the press release:
The new museum will be renamed The London Museum. In 2025, the new museum will host a festival curated by Londoners in and around the new museum building in West Smithfield. The festival will give Londoners a chance to see the remarkable architecture of the General Market building alongside music, art commissions, food and events inspired by London and all its people from the past, present and future. School groups will be given special access through a programme of dedicated activity.
The museum’s current site at London Wall in the City of London will close in December 2022. The Museum of London Docklands will remain open to visitors. Under the leadership of new Managing Director, Douglas Gilmore, it will be renamed The London Museum Docklands from January 2023 to reflect the new museum brand.
Since the original London Wall site opened in 1976, the Museum of London has been a fixture on the capital’s cultural scene welcoming over 21 million visitors, including more than 1.5 million schoolchildren (since 1998). At London Wall, the Museum of London has proudly displayed the highlights of The London Collection telling the story of the capital before it was London to the present-day capital.
From June 2022, a series of events, activities and displays at the existing Museum of London site will celebrate the museum’s successes over the past 45 years. This will be the very last chance for fans of the Museum of London to visit the museum in its current location before expert curators and conservators carefully relocate the objects to West Smithfield.
As a result of the move to Smithfield, The London Museum will be able to open up to millions more visitors and showcase more of The London Collection than ever before, giving Londoners and visitors to the capital the opportunity to explore London’s story.
Thanks to Crossrail, The London Museum will be one of the world’s most accessible museums with Farringdon station just seconds away. The London Museum will open early and close late – reflecting London’s position as a 24-hour Global City. Extended opening hours on Friday and Saturday nights will attract visitors to West Smithfield throughout the weekend, and the new museum will support a host of independent small businesses around the perimeter of the General Market building.
The General Market will house much of The London Collection in a vast and atmospheric underground gallery space. Object rich and beautifully designed, this space will tell the story of London like never before, drawing on the latest academic and expert research. Using cutting-edge DNA research, The London Museum will give a new perspective on who our ancestors were.
No word yet on what will happen to the ‘old’ museum.
But this is all super exciting, and I can’t wait to see the new place in person!