British Museum, London

British Museum, London

One of the largest and best museums in the world, the British Museum displays a wide variety of important artifacts, among them the famous Rosetta Stone and Elgin Marbles.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
248941
Names
British Museum
Coordinates
51.5194590° N, 0.1269310° W
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Location Map

Aerial view of British Museum, London
Location map of British Museum, London. Click image for a larger, interactive view.

Aerial View

Aerial view of British Museum, London
Aerial view of British Museum, London. Click image for a larger, interactive view.

Timeline

1802

British Museum purchases Egyptian artifacts including Rosetta Stone

1816

British Museum acquires the Elgin Marbles

1823

King George IV donates library to British Museum

1823

Construction begins on the British Museum

1880

Natural history collections of the British Museum move to the new Natural History Museum

2000

Great Court Completed

2003

British Museum celebrates 250th anniversary

National Heritage List for England Data

British Museum is listed on the National Heritage List for England with the following data. Some information may have become outdated since the date of listing. Text courtesy of Historic England. © Crown Copyright, reprinted under the Open Government License.

List Entry ID
1130404
Grade
I
Name
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
Location
THE BRITISH MUSEUM, GREAT RUSSELL STREET
District
Camden
County
Greater London Authority
Grid Reference
TQ 30054 81721

CAMDEN

TQ3081NW GREAT RUSSELL STREET 798-1/100/697 (North side) 24/10/51 The British Museum

GV I

Museum. 1823-47. By Sir Robert Smirke with later additions. Portland stone. Planned as a big quadrangle with open courtyard extending north from Montague House (the original museum, demolished c1840). 2 main storeys in Greek Revival style. Built in stages. East Wing 1823-26: built to house George IV's library and Angerstein pictures (later basis of National Gallery). An early use of iron beams clad in concrete by engineer John Rastrick. Fine Grecian detail to interior with scagliola walls. West Wing 1831-4: built to house antiquities. Redecorated to Smirke's original colour scheme 1980. North Wing 1833-8: built to house antiquities. South Range 1842-7: built as the principal facade following the demolition of Montague House. 7-bay centre linked to projecting wings. Ionic octastyle portico with sculptured pediment projecting from a massive colonnade running around the wings. Ionic order from the temple of Athene Polias, Priene. Pediment sculpture depicts the "Progress of Civilisation" by Westmacott. Fine interior with grand central staircase. Round Reading Room 1852-7: by Sydney Smirke. Erected to fill the open quadrangle, with domed cast-iron roof. HISTORICAL NOTE: the museum expanded north during the C19, the last main addition being the King Edward VII Gallery (qv), 1914, facing Montague Place. Some of the galleries were damaged during World War II and have been remodelled for display purposes...

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Bibliography

  1. Official Website of the British Museum. Web. Accessed 1 Nov. 2016. <http://www.thebritishmuseum.org>
  2. Barber, Tabitha. Blue Guide Museums and Galleries of London. Blue Guide, 2005.
  3. “British Museum.” Wikipedia. Web. Accessed 1 Nov. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Museum>
  4. Caygill, Marjorie. The British Museum A-Z Companion. Routledge, 2001.
  5. Smith, Rupert and Neil MacGregor (foreword). The Museum: Behind the Scenes at the British Museum. BBC Books, 2007.
  6. Jerrold, W. Blanchard. How to See the British Museum in Four Visits. tredition, 2011.
  7. MacGregor, Neil. A History of the World in 100 Objects. Viking Adult, 2011.
  8. Foster, Norman. The Great Court at the British Museum. Prestel Publishing, 2012.
  9. Neich, Roger. The Maori Collections of the British Museum. British Museum Press, 2011.
  10. Jacobs, Norman. Behind the Colonnade: Thirty-Seven Years at the British Museum. The History Press, 2010.

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