London's best unsung museums



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    Clink Prison Museum

    Cinema Museum


    The Cinema Museum celebrates the art and architecture of the cinema theatre. The museum’s building is under a limited lease – it’s under threat and needs a benefactor – but the posters, projectors, signs and usherettes’ uniforms can still be seen by appointment. The Cinema Museum, The Master’s House, Old Lambeth Workhouse, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH ( Kennington tube.Clink Prison Museum On the site of the notorious prison, this museum relays the history of Southwark as well as hosting some deeply unpleasant-looking torture devices. Clink Prison Museum, 1 Clink St, SE1 9DG (7378 1558/ London Bridge tube/rail.

    Crystal Palace Museum


    Tiny local museum dedicated to the memory of the Crystal Palace exhibition centre. Crystal Palace Museum, Anerley Hill, SE19 2BA (8676 0700/ Crystal Palace rail. Cuming Museum


    Some 25,000 exhibits accumulated by two generations of the Cuming family in the 1800s, including objects from Ancient Egypt. Cuming Museum, 151 Walworth Rd, SE17 1RY (7525 2332/ Elephant and Castle tube/rail.

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    Design Musem

    Design Museum
    Opened in 1989, this riverside museum by Tower Bridge encompasses modern and contemporary industrial and fashion design, graphics, architecture and multimedia.Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 (0870 909 9009/ London Bridge/Tower Gateway tube/rail.

    Dr Johnson’s House

    Although the museum takes up all four floors of the house in which Johnson wrote his 'Dictionary', it’s the atmosphere that intrigues here – and the exhibits largely consist of old furniture, portraits of Johnson and Boswell, and the occasional case of ephemera (letters, spectacles etc). There’s also a short, hammy biographical video on the second floor. Kids can dress up from a selection of Georgian costumes on the top floor.
    Best exhibit A rather random brick from the Great Wall of China on the landing.
    Dr Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square, EC4 (7353 3745/ Chancery Lane tube.

    Fan Museum
    The world’s only museum dedicated to fans. It’s a tiny space consisting of two rooms with an overall collection of 3,500 antique fans, some of which date as far back as the eleventh century.
    Best exhibit If you’re not a fan fan, head for the Orangery where teas are served at 3pm on Tuesdays and Sundays.
    Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, SE10 (8305 1441/ Greenwich rail/DLR or Cutty Sark DLR.

    Fashion and Textile Museum
    Founded by Zandra Rhodes, Bermondsey's very own celebration of the London (and international) rag trade.
    Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey St, SE1 3XF (7407 8664/ London Bridge tube/rail.

    Fishmongers’ Hall
    Most City livery companies are open to the public, though you often have to book in advance and as a group. This one displays the dagger used by the Mayor of London to kill Wat Tyler in 1381.
    Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge, EC4R 9EL (7626 3531/ London Bridge tube/rail.

    Florence Nightingale Museum
    An advocate of free healthcare, Florence Nightingale raised nursing to a professional level for women and started her own training school for nurses at St Thomas’. Appalled by the conditions the wounded experienced in the Crimean War, she helped to develop new hospitals in the Victorian era, for which she was the first woman to receive the Order of Merit in 1907. Her possessions, letters and portraits are on display here.
    Best exhibit To bring Florence’s legacy up to date, there are talks from St Thomas’ current nurses.
    Florence Nightingale Museum, St Thomas’ Hospital, 2 Lambeth Palace Rd, SE1 (7620 0374/ Waterloo tube/rail.

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Users say

jo sankey
jo sankey

not much of an opportunity to go to London and now british rail have a offer on I will be bringing my gilrls to see the sights, and the first thing they want to go to see are the museums and your sight has been fabulously informative. Thanks.j

Florika Gri
Florika Gri

It's a good idea but it would be even better without forcing a rating out of readers before allowing access to the third page. Strangely, the website won't allow a choice of more than two in the star rating section! Three would have been my choice.