The Museum of London has welcomed over 21 million visitors through its doors since it opened in 1976, housing a plethora of fascinating sights from trade exhibitions to a Sherlock Holmes display to the inflatable baby Trump. And the best part about the Museum Of London? It’s completely free to visit.
Sadly, we won’t have the museum in its London Wall home for much longer — on December 4, 2022 it will close its doors to the public for the last time. That’s this weekend! But do not fret, museum lovers – the closure is only temporary, and The Museum Of London The London Museum will be back at a new home and with a new name. And before they close, they’ve been treating Londoners to a whole host of events and activities to ring out the year.
The Museum of London’s Closing Festivities
After 45 years of existence, you know The Museum Of London is going to celebrate before they close (even if only temporarily). And in super-London form, they’re doing it with a series of weekend festivals. Oh, and a 24-hour rager – by which we mean they’ll be open for over 24 hours. Okay, it’s not quite a rave, but they’ll be open from 10 AM on Saturday, December 3, all the way through to closing at 5 PM on Sunday December 4 – your last chance to visit until they reopen in 2026.
Across the last two weekends before they close, The Museum of London is hosting the London’s Greatest Weekends festivals. The first session (November 26 & 27) saw the museum hosting a Family Festival. Meanwhile the closing weekend (December 3 & 4) will find the museum propping their doors open for a two-day Music Festival.
The Family Festival offered up days full of creative activities for families, ranging from face painting to live performances, and a big ol’ table football competition. Visitors were also treated to a Baby Rave, immersive tours of the museum, and pop-up music performances.
The second weekend, the Music Festival, will celebrate five decades of London’s rich musical history, from the 70s to the modern day. The museum will be full of the sounds of disco, punk, dub, grime, and more, with live DJ performances from Sisu, theatrical museum tours, and an exclusive DJ workshop. In the evening, the museum is collaborating with Film London to present a late-night film festival, before the museum then stays open all the way through until closing on Sunday evening.
The Museum of London x fabric nightclub
Ahead of its impending closure, the Museum of London also announced that the iconic London clubbing venue, fabric, will become the world’s first nightclub-in-residence. The partnership has come about due to the museum’s new location being directly opposite the legendary venue. Kicking off the collaborative effort was a special one-night event at fabric (October 25): My bodily remains, your bodily remains, and all the bodily remains that ever were, and ever will be. (Down, skin, pelt, vellum, alert tangled roots, subcutaneous flesh, subterranean blind life), a new performance commission by artist Tai Shani for Art Night.
Subsequently, fabric’s 25th anniversary in 2024 will see the museum collaborating with the nightclub to mark the milestone and celebrate the venue’s impact on London’s nightlife and music scene. fabric will then work with the museum on a London Museum festival in 2025 ahead of the museum’s re-opening, as well as being involved with the museum’s opening in 2026, when it will formally enter its role as nightclub-in-residence.
The London Museum’s new home
The Museum of London London Museum will be relocating to the old market buildings in Smithfield, a move that will come at a cost (on top of the multi-millions), with the new site not expected to open until 2026. However, the sister site in Canary Wharf will be open throughout this wait, and will enjoy a name change of its own, becoming the London Museum Docklands.
Once open, the new building will be able to take advantage of the increased capacity to show off even more of their hefty collection. Plenty of their current exhibitions will be on show at Smithfields — you’ll be able to sleep easy knowing that your favourite pieces will still be there to pay a visit every now and then. The museum is expected to open early and close late at its new site, with extended opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays – welcome news for London’s night-owls!
Head to the Museum Of London before December 4, 2022, or else you’ll be in for a long wait! Find it at 150 London Wall, Barbican, EC2Y 5HN (nearest station is Barbican).