Last updated November 29th, 2020
The ‘Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’ is the national bank of the United Kingdom. The national gold reserves are kept in its vaults. The Bank of England was incorporated by Royal charter in 1694 as in order to finance the war against Louis XIV of France, and was brought under government control only in 1946. The majestic building which it occupies was designed by Sir John Soane, and was built between 1788 and 1833, although it was completely rebuilt between 1924 and 1939. Admission is free.
Note: Owing to temporary closures the times below may not accurately reflect current opening hours.
The Guildhall Art Gallery opened in 1999 and displays 250 works of art alongside smaller temporary exhibitions that explore different themes. Admission fees apply and concessions are available.
Barbican Art Gallery offers a wide variety of exhibitions all year round, several of which are free to enter. They also host music and theatre performances. Please check for details regarding admission fees for entry into some exhibitions.
The Museum of London is made up of 14 galleries dealing with aspects of life in London over the last 2000 years. This museum has captured them and put together a comprehensive time line of London’s history. The Great Fire of London in 1666 saw the destruction of Medieval London, and with it some parts of the museum. The parts had to be built up from scratch. Admission is free
The Golden Hinde – originally circumnavigated by Sir Francis Drake and meticulously reconstructed – is a real sailing galleon which has sailed over 140,000 miles. It is an educational museum which enables visitors to see what life was really like aboard an Elizabethan galleon. The ship is open to the public on certain days each week and is used extensively by schools. It is also available for private parties and functions including weddings and receptions.
The Clink Prison Museum is built on the site of the first clink prison. The prison began as a dungeon for disobedient clerics under the Bishop of Winchester’s palace. The exhibition features a handful of prison life tableaux, and dwells on the torture and grim conditions within. Admission fees apply and concessions are also available.
The Old Operating Theatre Museum is set at the top of a church tower which was built in 1821. Despite it being ‘gore-free’, the Theatre Museum is just as stomach churning as the London Dungeon as this theatre dates back to the pre-anaesthetic era. Florence Nightingale commenced her nursing training here.