I. Sir John Soane’s Museum
This museum was a home to the eccentric architect and collector Sir John Soane, who asked to preserve his house after his death, which happened in 1837. This house museum is a real marvel and full of wonders and curiosities. On display are various artefacts from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, as well as objects from ancient Egypt, including Pharaoh Seti’s sarcophagus. It also has art works by Canaletto, paintings by Hogarth, interesting architectural drawings and various fascinating sculptures. The cosiness and the mysterious nature of museum make it even more appealing. The owner definitely had a taste for the macabre, and the newly restored catacombs area is also on display. What is great is that this museum is free to the public, and it hosts various exciting candlelit nights throughout the year where you can see and admire the wondrous objects by candlelight; address: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London.
II. Wellcome Collection
This is definitely one of my favourite museums in London. This free museum is said to be for “the incurably curious”, and it more than lives up to this claim. It has two permanent exhibitions – Medicine Man and Medicine Now, which are as exciting as they sound. The museum traces the origins of medicine, surgery, psychiatry and philosophy of mind, and there are various related artefacts on display from around the world, from ancient Chinese acupuncture model dolls to Victorian paintings depicting a tooth extraction. Previously, the gallery also hosted collection events devoted exclusively to the understanding of death, human brain and dentistry. If you ever wondered how the workings of a brain or body were viewed in the past or what health treatments were available to people in old times, this place is a must-visit. The gallery also has a nice cafe and shop (filled with the most interesting books!) on its premises; address: 183 Euston Road, London.
III. Hunterian Museum
This museum is part of the Royal College of Surgeons and represents the collection of the surgeon John Hunter who lived in the late 18th century. The small museum has a collection comprised of “human and non-human anatomical and pathological specimens, models, instruments and sculptures”. It also has works of art which depict “the science of surgery from the 17th century to the present day.” Some artefacts on display are pretty gruesome, such as deformed skulls, but they will also delight those who are curious about anatomy and the study of deformities and diseases. Unfortunately, this museum is closed until 2021, but I thought I would still include it here since it is often bypassed by visitors and deserves more attention and recognition; address: 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London.