Museum of the Order of St John

Things to do, Walks and tours Farringdon Free
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Museum of the Order of St John

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Following a £3.7 million refurbishment in 2010, the Museum of the Order of St John is three museums in one. The first shows the history of St John’s Gate: built in 1504 as the south entrance to the Priory of the Knights of St John, it’s also been a coffeehouse, owned by Hogarth’s family, and a tavern. In the eighteenth century it was a printing house for Gentleman’s Magazine. The second part of the museum concentrates on the Order of St John, founded in Jerusalem in 1099. Armoury and regalia are on display, as well as exhibits showing the Order’s devotion to nursing. The third and final part is an interactive display on the Order’s modern incarnation – the St John Ambulance. Make sure you see the 1785 version of ‘The Dictionary’ by one Samuel Johnson.


Venue name: Museum of the Order of St John
Address: St Johns Gate, 26 St John's Lane
Transport: Tube: Farringdon
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Lynsey F

St Johns Gate is a gorgeous structure. Definitely one for some instagram pics but inside the actual gate building is a museum that is free to enter and details the history of the Order of St John. Basically it's all about the evolution of what we know today as St Johns Ambulance. The gate is the headquarters of the St Johns organisation in the UK hence the museum being based here.

It's a small museum but it's interesting to read about this amazing organisation. Let's face it...before there was the NHS there was St Johns providing free charitable health care. Amazing!

It only took me half an hour to see everything on offer but I aced things timing wise as a free hour long tour of the parts of the building not open to the public was just starting when I arrived (1430). This tour is really worth doing as above the museum is a gorgeous wood panelled historical site where history takes shape. The tour also takes you to the nearby St Johns church and garden


This is a beautiful, historic museum in the heart of Clerkenwell.  The historic buildings and collections are owned by the Priory of England of the Order of St John, the Order being first founded in Jerusalem in 1080. Best visited with a group of 12-15 people to get a free guided tour (suggested donation £5), to hear the full history and gain access to the Priory Church and crypt.  It is an absolute gem.