A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

Posts tagged “museum

Apsley House – The Wellington Museum

Apsley House (Wellington Museum) is one of the most ornate houses in London with a stunning collection of artwork.  Unfortunately it is also one of the few places where photography is not allowed.  Some photographs can be obtained from flickr or from the archives and are permitted for personal use.   Their website is here ⇒.  And the Wellington Collection is here ⇒ and fabulous house interiors here ⇒

Attributed to Elliot Brown on Flickr licensing at Link ⇒

Attributed to Craig Morey on Flickr licensing at  Link ⇒

Leighton House

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Will Pryce

Leighton House is one of the very few venues featured on this blog where photography is not allowed. But is surely worth a visit.  There is much more to see at Leighton House, and the Leighton House website is here ⇒.  Viewers may also be interested in nearby Holland Park (inc Kyoto Gardens) and the extraordinary victoriana at 18 Stafford Terrace.

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Kevin Moran

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Keven Moran

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Will Pryce

The London Garden Museum in Lambeth

The London Garden Museum is situated in and around the old church of St Mary adjacent to Lambeth Palace.  The church has origins dating back almost a thousand years.  It was deconsecrated in 1972 and saved from demolition by Rosemary Nicholson.  By 1977, Rosemary and her husband John had converted the old church into the world’s first Museum of Garden History.  Rosemary and John were admirers of John Tradescent ⇒ who is buried at St Mary and is credited as being the first great British gardener and plant hunter.   In more recent times the venue has become known as The Garden Museum.

In 2016 the museum was closed for remodeling, making use of  a Heritage Lottery grant. It was re-opened in May 2017.  Unfortunately the beautiful Knot Garden ⇒ has been lost during the remodeling and the external gardens still need some work.  The external gardens and café are free to enter but there is an entrance fee for the museum.    Website ⇒.


The seemingly humble lawnmower has been of considerable influence.  Before its invention, by Edwin Budding in 1830, grass was cut by scythe.  Only the rich could afford such a labour intensive luxury.  Even so it was only rough cut compared with today’s standards.  It was because of the lawnmower we have the English garden and advancements in lawn tennis, lawn bowls, cricket and golf.

The inside of the old church is in good condition and alongside of some gardening history are there is some quite stunning stained glass.

The potato, which has become an important food staple, was first brought to Europe from Peru by the Spanish in the latter part of the 16th century although Sir Walter Rayleigh is credited with bringing them to England a little later.  In Britain we refer to the potato chip as a crisp and the British chip is a kind of thick french fry.  Fish and chips being our main contribution to international cuisine. 😀

The Ancient Order of  Free Gardeners began in Scotland in the 17th century. The ancient order’s fortunes have been somewhat variable, more ⇒ .  Personally I think making people believe one’s services are for free is asking for trouble.  😀

A good view of this window is difficult because somebody put a garden shed in the way. Really.  I think it’s an experiment in avant-garden 😀 .  I wrote them a note on the subject.   They haven’t written back.

In Memorium to Herbert Lyttelton 1884-1914

Although close to a busy thoroughfare and still a work in progress, the garden is free and a pleasant place to sit.  🙂

Ightham Mote Interiors

Well hello and welcome to Ightham Mote, a pleasant idyll in Kent.  The interiors are presented as a walk through time including an extraordinary painting.  Views of the exterior and beautiful gardens and more information about this medieval manor house can be found here  ⇐.   But first, a little walk through time (although not necessarily in the right order 🙂 )  ~

The above is a corner of the Billiard Room situated across the main courtyard.  Back to the main building :-

A replica of Ellen Terry’s famous beetle-wing costume in which she played Lady Macbeth in 1888/89

Miss Elsie Palmer by John Singer Sargent 1890

Thank you for the visit and if you missed the exterior views then you can find them  here ⇐ .

Ightham Mote


Ightham Mote (pron; I tham) is a well preserved medieval manor house that was built in the 14th century and is near to Sevenoaks in Kent. The approach is down into a wooded dell that is not at all dingily. 

Their website ⇒ and the wiki history ⇒.

The manor house contains an interesting museum of artifacts from various eras (here  ⇐ ) and is surrounded by very pleasant gardens and an extensive array of footpaths throughout the surrounding area.  Ightham mote has never been inhabited by very ambitious people or involved in dramatic events.  Its gentle past is perhaps responsible for its very peaceful atmosphere and has made it a pleasure to visit.  🙂

Across the bridge and into the courtyard.

One enters the house under the rose covered arch.  Note the large dog kennel.  There is a picture of its inhabitant later.

Outside is just the beginning of the gardens and rural walks. Turn around and there are the stables.

Inside the stables there are a few pictures including one of the dog who inhabited the courtyard kennel.

There is an extraordinary painting inside the house ⇐ and I hope that you enjoyed your visit.

Museum of the Order of St John

The Order of St John (St John’s Ambulance Brigade) was founded in 1099 and is an international organisation.  The museum is on St John’s Lane which is off Clerkenwell Road.  That part which is frequently open, is not very big but packed with educational placards and video. 

On a tour day there is additional access to upstairs rooms and artifacts, see the website ⇒.  Further down this page there is a virtual tour of the upstairs rooms and a video about the Order of St Johns and St John’s Ambulance Brigade  .

The short history is concise and well presented.

Please see the website ⇒ for tour days and use the contact details to determine if photography is allowed on tours.

There is no sound with the virtual tour.

Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood – Vintage toys

24 pics. The V & A Toy Museum is in Bethnal Green just a little north of Bethnal Green Underground station on Cambridge Heath Road. There are numerous events and workshops for children including schools groups.  It is worth seeing their website ⇒.

The museum is free to enter and photography is allowed but difficult due the lighting and reflections from the glass cases.  Nevertheless it is worth a visit, especially since their stock keeps being replenished from a large archive.

There is a second post with Chinese Rock Gardens, more toys and favourites from television here ⇐. 🙂

The V & A Museum of design in South Kensington is even larger and can be found here ⇐.

Dolls Houses

This just a sample.

Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood Dolls House DSC_5450.
V & A Museum of Childhood Dolls House DSC_5444

V & A Museum of Childhood Dolls House DSC_5441

V & A Museum of Childhood Dolls House DSC_5456

V & A Museum of Childhood Toy House

V & A Museum of Childhood Dolls


Toy Cooker and Tea Sets

V & A Museum of Childhood Toy Oven

Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood Toy Tea Set

Toy Theatres

V & A Museum of Childhood Toy Theatre DSC_5216

Victoria & Albert Toy Museum Toy Theatre DSC_5180

V & A Toy Museum Toy Theatre DSC_5171

V & A Toy Museum Toy Theatre DSC_5181

V & A Toy Museum Puppets DSC_5504

V & A Toy Museum Punch and Judy

Mechanical Puppet

V & A Toy Museum Mechancal Puppet

Johnny the Dunce is an early clockwork toy (circa 1850) with music and a swinging leg.

Vintage Models

Victoria & Albert Toy Museum DSC_5507

V & A Toy Museum Toy Car

V & A Toy Museum Clockwork Toy Train DSC_5210

Steam Locomotives

The first two of these models have small spirit burners underneath which raise steam and result in locomotion.  A good way to set your carpet on fire.

There are more model steam engines/locomotives here ⇐.

V & A Toy Museum Toy Steam Engine DSC_5510

V & A Toy Museum Toy Steam Locomotive DSC_5198

V & A Toy Museum Toy Stevensons Rocket

Rocking Horse

V & A Toy Museum Rocking Horse

Teddy Bears

V & A Toy Museum Teddy Bears


V & A Toy Museum Painting of Boy in Top Hat

“We used to make our own amusement in the old days”.

London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum Horse Drawn Coach DSC_4734

The London Transport Museum⇒ is at the eastern corner of Covent Garden.  Entry is a little expensive at £17 (in 2016) for a single adult but there are a variety of concessions, group tickets and under 18’s go free.  The Acton Depot⇒ is much larger but only accessible as part of a tour or on an open day.

Vintage steam engines can be found at the Science Museum⇐ (free entry) and a classic/vintage vehicles race can be seen once a year at Crystal Palace Motorsport⇐.

London Transport Museum DSC_4730


London Transport Museum Model Coach DSC_4742


London Transport Museum Horse Drawn Tran DSC_4736

Horse drawn coaches developed into horse drawn trams (on rails).

London Transport Museum Tram DSC_4785

Then trams powered by electricity from overhead power lines.

London Transport Museum Motorised Omnibus DSC_4769

There were also motorised omnibuses.

London Transport Museum Vintage Motorised Coach DSC_4797

Then underground powered by electricity.  Although there were three oil fired steam locomotives used during construction of the underground.

London Transport Museum Old Waterloo and City Line Interior DSC_4791


London Transport Museum Steam Locomotive DSC_4758

This locomotive was used on an overground line but passed through several small tunnels, hence its minimal height.

London Transport Museum Steam Train DSC_4745


London Transport Museum Train Carriages DSC_4753


London Transport Museum Train Carriage Interior DSC_4751


London Transport Museum Train Carriege Interior DSC_4749

Sprung upholstery. More comfortable than modern day but heavier.

London Transport Museum Underground Train Interior DSC_4754

Some of the underground trains remained like this into the 1960’s and even 1970’s.  It is a testament to how well they were built.

London Transport Museum Routemaster Buses DSC_4795

The Routemaster bus⇐ also lasted well, the basic design being in use from 1956 to 2005.

London Transport Museum Vintage Taxi DSC_4803 copy
As luck would have it, I ran into one of these just outside the museum.

Wallace Collection Armoury

Wallace Collection Armour Armoured Man on Horseback

14 pics.  Part of the Wallace Collection which also contains many notable works of art.

The armoury is on the ground floor.  I suppose, for the gentry, such items were as much a statement of status as utilitarian. There purpose may not be so admirable to a more enlightened world but the workmanship, its alternate uses and the attendant history are best not forgotten. 

There is more of this past and extraordinary workmanhip at the Tower of London/White Tower.

Henry IV's Parrying Dagger st the Wallace Collection

Henry IV’s Parrying Dagger


Wallace Collection Armour


Wallace Collection Armour Shield


Wallace Collection Armoury Axes


Wallace Collection Armoury Swords 2


Wallace Collection Armoury Swords


Wallace Collection Armoury Daggers 1


Wallace Collection Armoury Daggers 2


Wallace Collection Oriental Armour


Wallace Collection Armoury Ornate Daggers


Wallace Collection Armoury Gun


Wallace Collection Armour Helmet


Wallace Collection Armour Helmets

The Wallace Collection

20 pics.  Some of the items from the extraordinary Wallace Collection.  Displayed at Hertford House in the heart of London (see Google maps), the collection was bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace in 1897 and is free to enter. As well as the sample items below, the collection also includes an extensive armoury and a number of beautiful gold, silver and glass ornaments.  And, here is the The Wallace Collection Website.

Among the paintings can be found two paintings by Titian, five Rembrandts, nine Rubenses, four Van Dycks, eight Canalettos, nineteen Bouchers, masterpieces by de Hooch, nine Teniers, Frans Hals, nine Murillos, two Velázquez and paintings by Domenichino, Cima, Daddi, Reni, Rosa, Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, Antoine Watteau, Nicholas Lancret, Jan Steen, Aelbert Cuyp and nine Guardis.  More information at the Wiki entry.

To view the amazing craftsmanship in more details, please click on an image and then again to magnify,  Enjoy :-).


The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals at the Wallace Collection

The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals.  Famous for his broad hat  😀 .

Rebecca and Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert by Leon Cognietat the Wallace Collection

Rebecca and Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert by Léon Cogniet.  A little enhanced to compensate for the fading effect of age

At the siege of the castle of Torquilstone the beautiful Rebecca, daughter of Isaac the Jew, is abducted by the Norman Templar, Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert (he’s the one with the templar cross on his tunic). Ulrica, an old Saxon woman who had set fire to the castle, exalts in her vengeful fury at the top of the distant tower.

The Witches in Macbeth by Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps at the Wallace Collection

The Witches in Macbeth by Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps.





Wallace Collection Fireplace DSC_2649


Wallace Collection Fireplace DSC_2662


Wallace Collection Vase


Wallace Collection Ornate Clock DSC_2668



Wallace Collection Ceramic Ornaments



Wallace Collection Ornate Cupboard DSC_2605


Wallace Collection Ornate Cupboard DSC_2648


Wallace Collection Ornate Desk


Wallace Collection Ornate Wardrobe


Wallace Collection Ornate Cupboard DSC_2693