Horniman Museum and Gardens History
Mr. Horniman used to be a successful businessman. He owned the company “Horniman Tea”, that was popular in England. He was the first, who started to use the special packages for tea. Thus his tea remained fresh and could be kept for long, being dry and very aromatic. Frederick John Horniman knew his business from top to bottom and was sure, that he was a respectable and honest seller. But he couldn’t even dream to become well known in every part of our planet during several centuries after his death.
He didn’t dream about glory, he was just crazy of buying and collecting beautiful things. He used to travel a lot to Asia, South and North America – his business made him visiting many various countries. Frederick liked objects of art and bought the things that caught his attention. He wasn’t aimed to create some certain collections – he has just bought what he liked, that’s why collections of Horniman Museums are so various. The main peculiarity of the museum is in diversity of its collections.
But then, at the end of 19th century, an avid traveler had just brought beautiful things to his house. When his wife has counted all the items in her husband collection, she was impressed. There were 30,000 of different object of art and the house seemed too small for that collection. Thus Mr. Horniman had built another house, where he moved with his family and left that old dwelling for his collection.
First of all the visitors of Horniman house were his friends and colleagues. Later he opened his doors to all the people, who wished to admire different works of art that had come from other countries. And finally he decided to create a museum and donate it to the city. Architect Charles Harrison Townsend has constructed a new building of the museum. It was absolutely original and had nothing in common with the architectural tradition of England.
Horniman Museum was opened in 1901, being one of the largest in England. Till now it attracts children and adults with its original collections and exhibitions.
Horniman Museum and Gardens Stratford London
Horniman Museum and Gardens Exhibitions
Collections are various and have no clearly defined theme or direction. Permanent and temporary exhibitions can be united under one big title – anthropology. Everything that is connected with human civilization is collected, divided into sections and shown to the visitors. If you come to the museum, start your exploration from its central collection – anthropological artifacts, objects of culture of different nations. This exhibition is permanent, it is called “Anthropology” and it includes 80,000 of artifacts. They are grouped according to the geographical area, they came from. Thus you will see items from the group “Asia”, “Europe” etc. The objects in this collection are various. They are connected with different aspects of people’s life, like their beliefs, things for everyday usage, technical innovations of that time era and the things that had esthetical meaning. This exhibition is restored now. It is planned to make it wider and include new objects here, as well as educational films and videos about the museum’s founder and his family.
The other very important exhibition in the museum is called “Musical Instruments”. This collection consists of 1,500 objects and is considered one of the biggest in Great Britain. You can see at the big screens, how they are played and what sound they make. Some of the instruments are allowed to play just there, in the museum.
The other exhibition is supposed especially for children. All the exhibits here are allowed to touch. No need to say, how enthusiastic young visitors become, when they come here.
The other very interesting collection to see here is aquarium. The great collection of fish and other sea inhabitants can be noticed here. The aqua life from the shores of Britain to the coral reefs of Fiji is reproduced in the aquarium.
Gardens around the museum are considered as the separate exhibition too. Each plant here is unique to some point. Some of them are edible. The others are used as decorative plants. Some are good for making musical instrument of them.
As for temporary exhibitions, they are changeable all the time. Nowadays visitors can admire “African Summer”. It includes objects of art, connected with African countries culture.
It is very interesting to visit the museum for both, adults and children. Of course, children in their teens won’t be so pleased with their visit, like smaller kids. So, take your child and come here!
Horniman Museum and Gardens Opening Hours
To be sure, that museum is affordable that day, when you come here, check its opening hours. It works every day from 10:30 till 17:00. There are no free days in the museum and you can come here any day you like. The only exclusion is Christmas Holiday, when it is closed.
The gardens are opened daily from 7:15 till sunset. Gardens may be closed for Bank Holidays and for Christmas Day, so study the schedule of their work – you can find it online.
The admission is free here, so it will cost you nothing to visit the museum or gardens around it. The exclusion is aquarium – it is charged.
It is not hard to find the building of the museum and get here.
The address of Horniman Museum and Gardens is 100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ, United Kingdom.
There are several ways to get there. Different numbers of buses come here. Choose 176, 122, P13 or 363. The number of the bus depends on the direction you come from.
If you are going to come here by underground, you have to get off at “Forest Hill Station”.
It is also possible to come here by car, but the local car parks have severe limits and are not available for a big number of vehicles, so public transport is preferred to get here.
Horniman Museum and Gardens Shop and Restaurants
If you get hungry, the museum café is to your service. Both, adults and children can have great dinner there for a reasonable price. The café is too busy from 12:00 till 14:00 (lunch time), so you can arrange picnic in the garden.
Of course, shopping is affordable here too. It is also very busy and overcrowded, so come here earlier to get your gift. The shop is a real treasure island for the lovers of souvenirs and small beautiful things. It works from 10:30 till 14:00.
Visit to Horniman Museum and Gardens can be interesting for children, their parents and grandparents. It is a must have for foreigners, as it will be very interesting for them to see artifacts from their country in the collection of the museum!