A Guide To British Museum

By on Friday, September 4th, 2015 in Area Guides.

Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
Established: 1753
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 17:30 p.m. (Fridays: 10:00 – 20.30)
Architectural style: Greek Revival architecture
Phone: 020 7323 8299

There rises an imposing classicist architectural marvel. Ancient Greek and Roman columns and friezes herald of what’s buried inside. When you find yourself in front of it, in the Bloomsbury district of the great city of London, there’s no mistaking it. You’re standing in front of the famed British Museum.

History of the Museum

What began as a purchase of a few private collections and libraries in 1753, has since grown to become one of the most respected and vast museums in the world. Despite its name, it certainly has more ambition than national history. Inside its extensive halls are housed not only British national collections, but European, Asian, African, American marvels of the arts, history, and sciences.

Its displays range from the present day all the way back to the prehistorical period of two million years ago. Palaeolithic tools, Egyptian mummies, Roman remains, medieval tapestries, and much, much more lie in wait of your visit. And not any old visit, but one through the very history and development of the human race.

An Overview of the Museum;s Collection

A Guide To British MuseumSee the Lindow Man, a well-preserved body of a mid-1st century person. The Portland vase of great international fame. Walk about the Sutton Hoo exposition, which features remains of a Saxon ship and golden treasures from 11 burial barrows. A truly massive collection of three million prints, paintings and drawings from the 1300s on, including all the great masters of the ages. The unimaginably important and museum all-star: the Rosetta Stone.

  • More than 7000 scientific instruments gathered in a world famous collection.
  • Luxuries from 2500 years ago feature porcelain, rich glass, shining jewels and gold.
  • Marvel at the Elgin collection featuring artefacts straight from the Parthenon in Athens.
  • The burial findings of Hallstatt.
  • Sculptures from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the ancient wonders of the world.
  • Figures and friezes from the famed Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
  • Riches and remains from the ancient kingdoms of Egypt, including the famous mummies, sarcophagi, weapons, furniture, tools and treasures.
  • African, Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Arabian, Central Asian collections.
  • The internationally acclaimed display of the gargantuan statue HoaHakananai’a from mysterious Easter Island.
  • Walk through 9000 years of Oriental objects. Artefacts from lost cities long since sunk beneath the sea.
  • And this is but a scratch on the surface of what vast treasures lie beneath, where all the major civilisations of the world are well-represented.

Apart from the permanent galleries, the museum also regularly hosts astonishing, prize-winning temporary exhibitions. It’s well worth to go back and back again.


The entrance to the great British Museum lies on Great Russell Street, with an additional entryway on Montague. And when one walks around the neighbourhood, you’ll find that there’s a plethora of sights and sounds to behold. The British Museum lies situated in very close proximity to Sir John Sloane’s Museum (curiosities & rarities), University College London Art Museum, University of the Arts London, the Novello Theatre, the London Transport Museum, the Cartoon Museum, the Charles Dickens Museum, the Foundling Museum, etc.

Local Amenities

With this much to experience in and around the British Museum, it’s bound to be a long day (or even a couple of days –many fine hotels for all budgets located close-by). Luckily, the museum gladly and excellently provides respite for the weary time traveller. There’s the Gallery Café and the two more modest Court cafés. Drinks and homemade light meals and cakes are on offer. However, if you’re in for a truly unique dining experience, the Court Restaurant offers you and yours an array of European dining delights under the magical glass roof of the Great Court.

Corporate & Private Entertainment

All in all, it’s clear that a visit, even multiple ones, to the British Museum are well worth any effort. Visit the permanent galleries with their seemingly unending supply of things to marvel at. Or pop round when a favourite exhibition has caught your fancy. Spending the entire day there is very much possible and highly likely. Refreshments and food are readily available, as well as places to rest and take a breather. The surrounding area is host to many more delights to satisfy the hunger of the curious man, woman or child.

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