View Full Version : Weird Museums in London

24-02-2006, 09:40 AM
Recently visited the Horniman Musuem in Forest Hill, which has a new exhibition room with a vast and rather fantastic collection of musical instruments from all over the place, including drums made from human skulls an a few cool synths (oberheim expander and dx7 with mouthpiece controller) and digital tabeltop displays that allow you to listen to what the instruments sound like too.

Also visited the Hunterian museum in Lincoln's Inn fields recently, which is probably one of the most amzing collections I've ever seen. It's incredibly macabre but brilliant; there lots of ghoullish 'curiosities' there. Plus it's a really fascinating insight into the birth of medicine as a discipline and it's impact on how we see ourselves and our bodies.

Also the John Soane Museum, also in Lincoln's Inn fields, has a late night on the first tuesday of every month (I think...); it's pretty neat seeing the collections by night, one of the rooms was lit by candles too which was a nice touch.

Any suggestions for other musuems to visit in London .. or europe? Or even to just peculiar places worth seeing? I'm interested in checking out the ruins of the Necropolis Railway at some point too - I guess I'm interesting too in finding out if anyone's heard of or found any peculiar spots in London that have an intersting history or aspect, that they'd like to share ....

24-02-2006, 09:43 AM
The Hunterian website, with virtual tour:


26-02-2006, 05:48 AM
I just read this as 'wierd muslims in london'...

26-02-2006, 08:51 PM
i read in Peter Ackroyd's London about an area of wasteground called Mount Mills, off Goswell Road in the Clerkenwell area, which was a 17th century plague pit where thousands of bodies were buried. i wandered round there and i think i found it, although there was no sign i could see; the site was a residential car park backing onto some new flats.

i'm also interested in finding out more about the Necropolis Railway. the London Transport Museum, which apparently holds some info on it, is closed until spring 2007. but there's some stuff here (http://www.tbcs.org.uk/railway.htm) which might be a good starting point.

27-02-2006, 01:43 PM
the Museum of Jurrasic Technology is wicked.

all sorts of arcane knowledge and curiosities done up on fab displays... it's a real remnant of the strange gypsy/asian/euro occult obsession of Cali, which I guess came from the gold miners way back when.

Grievous Angel
27-02-2006, 02:19 PM
The John Soane museum is one of my absolute fave places in London.

matt b
27-02-2006, 06:08 PM
to move away from all you londoncentric fascists:

get an oxford tube and go to the asholeam (world's first museum) and then visit the pitt river's museum- mad, mad anthropological artifacts in the back of the university museum.

my favourite was an automatic street organ museum in utrecht. its well outside the m25 though ;)

27-02-2006, 09:01 PM
thamesmead, SE28

is always worth a visit

infinite thought
27-02-2006, 09:14 PM
that's not a museum! unless to the broken dreams of a grey utopia...

27-02-2006, 09:15 PM
that's it exactly!

28-02-2006, 04:12 PM
In response to your post about weird museums in London, has anyone else noticed the weird goings on in the Tate Modern recently?

On Saturday night the whole of the Turbine Hall balcony was given over to a ludicrous performance by little known artist Jonathan Meese, involving indecipherable groaning, various bodily fluids and a few hundred totally unimpressed onlookers.

The performance continued for well over an hour, despite the obvious disgust of the audience, and culminated in an act of vandalism against the sculptural works of internationally renowned Turner Prize winning artist Rachel Whiteread.

If you want to check out some weird art make a trip down to the Tate Modern and check out the aftermath!

01-03-2006, 12:19 PM
i must go to the horniman museum sometime, specially what with it being round my way...

me and my sister went an exhibition in soho a little while ago on william burroughs, in what may or may not have been an old gun shop. it seemed to be deliberately designed to be as obstructive as possible- it was free, but you had to knock to get in- and when you did, in a darkened room two films about wb played at once, so that you couldn't hear either. so a staff member came in and turned up the one we weren't watching.

i always recommend the transport museum (no, really!) but you have to suffer covent garden, which is a shame...on the subject- the metroland bauhaus tube stations of charles holden are worth a visit (specially as they tend to be located in areas stuck in 1954)

01-03-2006, 12:59 PM
the metroland bauhaus tube stations of charles holden are worth a visit (specially as they tend to be located in areas stuck in 1954)

Yeah, I visited Cockfosters on Saturday, it's quite great really. Southgate and Arnos Grove look ace. Which reminds me, I was quite struck by Westminster Tube station when I visited recently - really brutal dystopian place, sort of nightmarish retrofuturism.

westminster tube (http://www.artofthestate.co.uk/london_photos/Westminster_tube_station_picture.htm)

I love the sound of a "museum of the broken dreams of a grey utopia"

Thanks for the recommendations people.