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.
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St Johns Gate, 26 St John's Lane
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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.