M is for Museums #atozchallenge

Museums abound in London. The widening of affluence in the 18th and 19th centuries, the desire to do the Grand Tour and bring home a little light statuary for mumsie, the need to collect generally, they are within our DNA. And as the wealthy wanted to leave their mark for posterity what better way that building a grand edifice and showing off all that had been accumulated. Couple this with a  post Enlightenment drive for knowledge and the benefits today for Londoners and those who come to benefit from slide into Disneyfication are apparent.

The museums are possibly the best reason to visit this little town of ours. They are, no exaggeration, awesome. Many, most of the biggest, are free. There are so many, not exactly countless but, by heck, a lot. So lets take 10 I really rather adore:

The British Museum

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The daddy of them all

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since they turned the decrepit courtyard into a stunning internal space – the great court

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off which you can follow the history of civilisation

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and understand why

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so many nations remain pissed off with the British

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because we have something iconic of theirs, this is the place for you.

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The Science museum

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As the name suggests it’s all about science and includes so many hands on exhibits the big kid in you will not want to leave

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health warning, it is easy to forget the child you came with, as you toy with a little bit of nuclear fission

The Natural History Museum

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Again what it says on the tin –

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avoid the British school holidays as this one is rammed.

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Dinosaurs remain popular

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but, for me, the earth galleries showing how the earth really doesn’t like being interfered with is the top choice.

The Victoria and Albert Museum

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I’m not sure how to categorise this –

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it covers clothes and fashion and all sorts of interior decor down the ages.

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Huge building and inside a mix of some wonderful things, especially some of the speical exhibitions: generally it is laid out superbly

and, here, the Madjeski Courtyard, is an excellent spot to pause. Warning: don’t go if you don’t get porcelain.

The Cartoon Museum

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Small and beautifully set up, with the history of cartoons from their early satirical beginnings.

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It’s a great place to understand why a free and caustic press is essential.

The Dickens Museum 

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Ok so I’m a writer, what do you expect? This small museum, one you pay for sadly, is based in Dickens home in Bloomsbury, in John Street.

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It’s a lovely part of town, redolent of writers and subversives, two types that seem inextricably linked. I like it a lot.

The London Transport Museum

Maybe it’s me but I like transport. Whatever. There’s a picture in my C is for Covent Garden Post, here

The Museum of London

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London from its earliest settlers keeps revealing itself as new developments go deep;

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Right now it is especially exciting as two new deep level tube lines – Crossrail east-west and north-south – are being built and yet more intriguing archaeology is emerging.

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London’s planning controls (this isn’t unique to London) require any development – whether private or public sector –

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to give the archaeologists time to explore whatever is opened up and the results end up here

The Geffrye Museum

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I had to, didn’t I? Named after a Lord Mayor it’s the museum of the home.

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Best of all it takes you over to Hoxton, on the fringes of east London. You can take in the Museum of Childhood, too, a shortish walk over to Bethnal Green.

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Also explore any side street and you are sure to see the stunning street art that abounds round here.

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The Horniman Museum

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My local museum in South London for which the word ‘eclectic’ could have been designed.

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From ancient, history through cultures around the world to natural history this place, near Dulwich has everything.

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And it’s near me: what is not to like?

As I wandered around these stunning spots I realised there were so many more

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The Comedy

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The Camera (the coffee was good).

What museum have you found that you love?

This is part of the 2016 A to Z Blogging challenge. Please click here to find your way to other participants.

A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in A to Z blogging challenge, London, miscellany, museums and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to M is for Museums #atozchallenge

  1. Lata Sunil says:

    I felt I was in Musuem heaven in London. I explored British Museum, Natural History, V&A Musueum among the bigger ones. Then local musueums of towns/villages.


  2. Sue Vincent says:

    For some reason, Twitter won’t let me Tweet this and says you don’t exist!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gordon759 says:

    I would just add the John Soane museum, if the Horniman is eclectic (and it is) the Soane is even more so, at least Horniman didn’t live in his museum, which Sir John Soane did.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You should get a job with the tourist board. You make my nostalgia nodes twitch with your posts. Funny how the atmosphere of London comes over so clearly in the photos even when visually it has changed in a superficial way from the memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love the images. Love your quips. Wishing I was there again. (Never enough time!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jan says:

    Quite a plethora of museums! We went to the Imperial War Museum – I think it was called.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      That’s right. It us v good and I only left it if for lack of a picture! I inherited a lot of WW1 memorabilia from my mum that had belonged to her dad – he was in the Air Force – what was called the Royal Flying Corps back then and they added it to their research materials. The experts I met were soooo enthusiastic it was really lovely to think how much good it might do.


  7. Liam says:

    I could spend the rest of my life just visiting museums in London. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. esthernewton says:

    Very interesting. I love these posts. Gorgeous pics too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ritu says:

    I didn’t even know some of these existed!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the Science Museum but never knew about the Cartoon Museum.
    Another great tour, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Grand tour. I hadn’t even heard of some of these. Next visit…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Keiley Blair says:

    I’m terrified that if I do ever get to London, I’ll never be able to leave the museums long enough to see the city! Thanks again for the great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. M. L. Kappa says:

    I love ’em all – must get back to London soon. And yes, do give us back the Elgin Marbles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Any time, if only they’d listen to me. I don’t see it happening though. We still cling to some vestigial self importance over these items. Sad really because it would not only be right but symbolic of all sorts of things.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. eschudel says:

    Have I told you how much I’m enjoying your posts? If so, I say it again, and if not, I should have already!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. jademwong says:

    Wow, I feel like I just did a tour of London thanks to your gorgeous photos. I’m a big lover of museums and I’ve been to a lot here in NYC. But we sure don’t have a Cartoon Museum for starters!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. pempispalace says:

    Wow – what an absolutely fantastic post for the A-Z Challenge!! Lots of museums I know and love and some I was totally unaware of so will be heading to them when I next visit the capital. You’ve set me up for the rest of the day – many, many thanks 🙂
    A Stormy Sidekick
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good choices, well described. And, yes, you had to. I didn’t know about the Cartoon Museum. When I was in my latency, my brother, Chris, and I were frequent visitors to the science museum, where we marvelled at a door that opened automatically when you passed a sensor. Our maternal grandfather, in retirement, was the caretaker of a block of South Kensington flats.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Helen Jones says:

    Of the ‘big’ museums, I think my favourite is The Museum Of London, simply because London is such a storied city and there are so many interesting finds in there.
    I really enjoyed the Leighton House Museum in Holland Park – his home has been restored to how it was when he lived and painted there, so there is some fantastic artwork on display, but the house itself is worth seeing, especially the Arab Hall, which features his collection of Middle Eastern art.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh dear: we’re only halfway through the alphabet, and already I’ll have to stay for an entire year on my next visit to London just to see all the things you’ve highlighted thus far! Perhaps I shall consider emigrating…


  20. Norah says:

    Thank you for bringing back my memories of London. I visited the British Museum, The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, and the Dickens Museum. My favourite is the Natural History Museum, especially the DVD made there by David Attenborough “Alive!” It’s amazing. Actually I really enjoyed the Dickens Museum too. What a life! What a writer!


  21. roweeee says:

    So excited to see the British Museum and be able to say: “I’ve been there!” Dare I mention that I saw the Elgin Marbles??? I didn’t say a word. I don’t recall going to the others but when I finally get back to London, consider yourself booked for a tour and I’ll even feed you Vegemite toast and Tim Tams. xx Ro

    Liked by 1 person

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