Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum and Gardens An inspiring, surprising, family-friendly, free Museum and Gardens in South London’s Forest Hill. The Horniman connects us all with global cultures and the natural environment, encouraging us to shape a positive future.
Our mission is central to everything we do, whilst our values help shape our work and give the Horniman its unique character. Our mission is: The Horniman connects us all with global cultures and the natural environment, encouraging us to shape a positive future for the world we all share.
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We’ve been open since Victorian times, when Frederick John Horniman first opened his house and extraordinary collection of objects to visitors. Since then, our collection has grown tenfold and includes internationally important collections of anthropology and musical instruments, as well as an acclaimed aquarium and natural history collection. Unusually for such an important museum, you can see our collection up-close and face-to-face. You can even pick up, try on and play with some of our objects. Our visitors come time and again to explore our free museum, take part in our activities and enjoy our 16-acre gardens. And they discover something fascinating and mesmerising every time.

Mission: The Horniman connects us all with global cultures and the natural environment, encouraging us to shape a positive future for the world we all share.

From today, our Gardens resume the normal opening hours.The Gardens will now open at 7.15am (Monday to Friday) or 8am (S...
23/05/2020

From today, our Gardens resume the normal opening hours.

The Gardens will now open at 7.15am (Monday to Friday) or 8am (Sunday and Bank Holidays) until sunset, which is 8.50pm until 9 August.

The Garden toilets and Sound Garden remain closed.

Please note, the advertised Gardens closing times refer to Horniman Drive gate. Other gates around the Gardens will close up to 10minutes before the advertised time.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/event/gardens/

Our curators are busy developing an exhibition about hair, opening next year, and the lockdown hasn’t stopped them. But ...
20/05/2020
Hair, Untold Stories - Horniman Museum and Gardens

Our curators are busy developing an exhibition about hair, opening next year, and the lockdown hasn’t stopped them. But it has got them thinking...

How has the current lockdown changed how you think about or look after your hair?

Have you turned hairdresser overnight, cutting your friend’s or family's hair?

Have you been tempted to try a new style or even shave it all off?

With clippers, hair dye and a well-executed fade all in short supply - we would love to hear your stories.

Comment or DM with #YourHairStories 🗣

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/project/hair-untold-stories/

Photo by Panos Damaskinidis for INFRINGE magazine

We are currently researching within our collections, and beyond, to create a new exhibition – Hair, Untold Stories – which will open in October 2021.

We are buzzing about our new bee garden 🐝🌷🌻🌺Alongside beds planted with species that attract and provide food for bees, ...
19/05/2020
Helping bees thrive on the South Circular - Horniman Museum and Gardens

We are buzzing about our new bee garden 🐝🌷🌻🌺

Alongside beds planted with species that attract and provide food for bees, are bee hotels to provide shelter and nesting sites for solitary bees.

And seeming to rise out of the foliage is Flower Girl, a new sculpture by Jasmine Pradissitto, which is made from a material that absorbs NO2 or nitrogen dioxide pollution from the air.

NO2 has been found to mask the smell of flowers and prevent bees from finding food.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/helping-bees-thrive-on-the-south-circular/

Today marks the start of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.Take a moment to yourself to enjoy this peaceful walk about the Gard...
18/05/2020
Horniman Tree Inspiration — Urban Tree Festival

Today marks the start of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Take a moment to yourself to enjoy this peaceful walk about the Gardens, listening to the sounds and hearing about our trees.

It was created by Gardens Keeper Rich and Natural History Curator Jo, as part of Urban Tree Festival 🌳🌴🍃

https://urbantreefestival.org/horniman-family-friendly-tree-inspiration

Family-friendly Tree InspirationResources from the Horniman Museum and Gardens The wonderful Horniman Museum and Gardens in south London have provided a whole forest of brilliant tree-related resources to keep the kids entertained.Podcast: ‘A tree walk around the Horniman Gardens’Age range 8+ Ri...

This is one  of the early microcomputers to be mass produced, the Acorn BBC Micro model B. It featured an analogue 'joys...
16/05/2020

This is one of the early microcomputers to be mass produced, the Acorn BBC Micro model B. It featured an analogue 'joystick' port, a digital 'user' port, a 1Mhz bus connection, a 'tube' connection, in addition to many other connections. The musician Vince Clarke of the British synth pop bands Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure used a BBC Micro with the UMI music sequencer to compose many hits. These objects belonged to Neil Arthur of the synthpop band 'Blancmange'. The computer, monitor, sequencer and floppy disk drive were used on all tracks for their third album 'Believe you me' and for some tracks of their second album 'Mange Tout'.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/object/2014.204/

Missing being outdoors in nature?Urban Tree Festival kicks off on Saturday and runs until 24 May - join in with a whole ...
15/05/2020
Horniman Tree Inspiration — Urban Tree Festival

Missing being outdoors in nature?

Urban Tree Festival kicks off on Saturday and runs until 24 May - join in with a whole host of sessions and activities online.

The Horniman team have been working with #UrbanTreeFestival on a few things:
🌳🎧 Join Gardens Keeper Rich and Natural History Curator Jo, as they take you on a tour of the trees in the Horniman Gardens
🌳🗣 Join one of our regular storytellers, Margaret Bateson-Hill, as she whisks you away to faraway lands and introduce you to magical talking creatures.
🌳📝 Create your very own Nature Notebook to explore the great outdoors, and record all your exciting discoveries.
🌳🚶‍♀️ If you live close to the Horniman, download a copy of our family friendly trail to discover the mysteries, myths and magic of some of the trees in our Gardens

https://urbantreefestival.org/horniman-family-friendly-tree-inspiration

13/05/2020
Support us: Great Walrus Tea Party - Horniman Museum and Gardens

Comedian, actor and writer #JoBrand is leading the call for people to bake themed cakes, have a virtual get-together with friends and family on Wednesday 24 June, and make a donation to support the work of the Horniman.

www.horniman.ac.uk/walrusteaparty

From the comfort of your own home, host a virtual Great Walrus Tea Party and raise donations for the Horniman. Every penny will help the Horniman inspire future generations of London’s families and schoolchildren.
Your party could have walrus-shaped cakes and ocean-themed biscuits and even some savoury seafood snacks – from fish finger sandwiches to prawn cocktail crisps. You can host your party on any day in June to suit you or celebrate with us at home or online on Wednesday 24 June.

Sign up and get your Great Walrus Tea Party fundraising packs online or by emailing [email protected].

Follow us on Twitter @HornimanMuseum to join in the fun.

Zachary Kingdon, Curator of African Collections at World Museums Liverpool, has been researching the African donors and ...
07/05/2020

Zachary Kingdon, Curator of African Collections at World Museums Liverpool, has been researching the African donors and vendors. Here, he describes one of the important objects in the Horniman’s Anthropology collections, sold to the Museum in 1908, and shares his research on its vendor – Claudius Dionysius Hotobah During.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/hotobah-during-a-sierra-leonean-krio-collector/

Our weekly Hear it Live performances will now be available to experience online.One performance will be posted each week...
02/05/2020

Our weekly Hear it Live performances will now be available to experience online.

One performance will be posted each week, so subscribe to our YouTube channel to see them as they are published.

You will be able to see all of the performances on the Hear it Live! playlist.

https://www.youtube.com/c/hornimanmuseum

If you are visiting the Gardens for your isolated walk or exercise please help us by adhering to social distancing guide...
26/04/2020

If you are visiting the Gardens for your isolated walk or exercise please help us by adhering to social distancing guidelines and keeping well.

Our Gardens are open from 8am – 4.30pm.

The Sound Garden and Garden toilets are closed.

We thank you for your understanding and patience during this difficult period. Your ongoing support is so very important to us.

24/04/2020
Turtle Trouble: Home education challenges - Horniman Museum and Gardens

Join Shayna as she talks us through challenges around our oceans, plastics and the creatures, like turtles, who may eat them by accident.

This is most suitable for Key Stage 2 (7-11 years) and covers these topics: science, environment, design and technology.

1. Food chains - science, environment

Can you draw a food chain based on the animals in this video?

Now draw another food chain based on different ocean creatures.

Learn about food chains here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zbnnb9q/articles/zwbtxsg

Sometimes plastics break down into tiny pieces called ‘microplastics’.
What happens if fish eat them?
What happens if a human eats that fish?

To find out more about ocean plastics, check out: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/projects/plastic/

For more information about the Horniman's scientific research on ocean corals, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS3rbEJSOUs

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle - science, environment, design and technology

Make a list of all the plastics that you use in your daily life.
Think about what might be wrapped around your food, drink or the things you carry.

What could you use instead of plastic?

What could you do to reduce, reuse or recycle these plastics?

3. Become an oceans activist - science, environment, design and technology

Take action against ocean plastics!

Design a poster to encourage others to use less plastic.

Ask your friends and family to make a plastics pledge: https://plasticspledge.org/

Try this experiment:
https://parentingchaos.com/ocean-pollution-clean-up-science-activity/

Or this plastic bag jellyfish craft:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jHjYcabuuc

Remember to share your creations with us on Instagram and Twitter using #Horniman.

Today is World Book Night.Man: His Structure and Physiology written by Robert Knox, a Scottish surgeon best known for hi...
23/04/2020

Today is World Book Night.

Man: His Structure and Physiology written by Robert Knox, a Scottish surgeon best known for his use of bodies from the Burke and Hare murders. The book contains ‘eight moveable dissected coloured plates of human anatomy.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/man-his-structure-and-physiology

Today marks the 50th Earth Day and we wanted to celebrate by highlighting the worlds incredible coral reefs and some of ...
22/04/2020

Today marks the 50th Earth Day and we wanted to celebrate by highlighting the worlds incredible coral reefs and some of the pioneering research that has happened so far in Project Coral.

Coral reefs are one the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, taking up less than 0.1% of the ocean floor they are home to 25% of all marine life.

Over-fishing, pollution and climate change have pushed reefs to the brink of collapse. Over 30% of the world’s reefs are considered seriously damaged and 60% may die within the next 20 years.

Our Aquarium has been pioneering research into developing techniques to reproduce coral and became the first institution globally to successfully induce predictable broadcast coral spawning.

Research with University of Derby into co-culturing – raising juvenile sea urchins alongside lab-spawned corals – has found the technique produces an eight times higher survival rate in young corals.

Project Coral techniques are having real-world impacts and benefit the restoration of the reefs of the world.

Project Coral depends on the support of our partners and dedicated individuals to carry out this vital work. If you would like to help please donate and help us to save the world's coral reefs.

Thank you.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/project/project-coral/

Today is National Tea Day and we have quite a lot of tea objects in our collections like this ceremonial teapot which th...
21/04/2020

Today is National Tea Day and we have quite a lot of tea objects in our collections like this ceremonial teapot which the Tuareg people use to show hospitality.

In the ceremony of serving tea to visitors, sugar is mixed into the tea and sometimes mint. Often two teapots are used to mix the tea and sugar, pouring it back and forth from one pot into the other.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/object/1971.1049

As a charity, the Horniman relies on our Museum being open to thrive and survive. If you’d like to help us please make a...
19/04/2020

As a charity, the Horniman relies on our Museum being open to thrive and survive. If you’d like to help us please make a donation.

Every day we're closed means we lose income needed to feed and care for our animals, and to maintain our Gardens.

Thank you.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/support-us/donate/

14/04/2020
Let's Talk Toys: Home learning challenge - Horniman Museum and Gardens

Join Shayna and Lucy as they talk about toys, and fun challenges you can do at home as part of home education.

This is most suitable for Key Stage 1 (5-7 years) and covers these topics: science, geography, design and technology.

1. Investigate your toys - science, design and technology

Pick up your favourite toy and have a look at it.
Can you list all the materials it is made from?
Can you describe how it works?
How do you play with it?
Ask a grown-up about the toys they used to play with...
How are they different from your favourite toy?

Explore lots of the different toys in our Museum's collection: https://www.horniman.ac.uk/search/collection/?keyword=toys&item_type%5B%5D=object&item_type%5B%5D=subject&item_type%5B%5D=place&item_type%5B%5D=agent&continent=&submit-filters=

2. Toys around the world - geography

Can you find Kenya and Zimbabwe on a map?
Which continent are these countries in?
What else can you find out about these countries?
Create a fact file of everything you discover.

- Kenyan Flipflop toys: https://youtu.be/iZV9J62Z2Vk
- South African Galimoto toys: https://youtu.be/CemYbs5GJNQ

Explore some of the African objects in our collection with this online resource: https://www.horniman.ac.uk/resource/africa/

3. Get making! - design and technology

The toys in this video were made from rubbish. Look around your home for scrap materials. Can you design a toy from them?

Now can you build it?
Remember to ask a grown-up for help!

There are some fantastic ideas here to help you: https://arts.onehowto.com/article/how-to-make-simple-toys-using-recycled-materials-found-at-home-252.html

Share your creations with us in the comments below.

Address

100 London Road
London
SE23 3PQ

Buses: 176, 185, 197, 356, P4 (Stop outside the Museum and Gardens) and 122, 363, P13 (Stop nearby) Train: To Forest Hill (trains from London Bridge, Victoria, Clapham Junction, New Cross Gate, East Cryodon, Sutton and Purley)

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The Horniman Story

Bring the world to Forest Hill

Frederick John Horniman, Victorian tea trader and philanthropist, began collecting objects, specimens and artefacts 'illustrating natural history and the arts and handicrafts of various peoples of the world' from around 1860. His overarching mission was to 'bring the world to Forest Hill' and educate and enrich the lives of the local community.

His travels took him to far flung destinations such as Egypt, Sri Lanka, Burma, China, Japan, Canada and the United States collecting objects which 'either appealed to his own fancy or that seemed to him likely to interest and inform those who had not had the opportunity to visit distant lands'. Mr Horniman’s interest as a collector was well known and many travellers approached him with specimens and curiosities.

By the late nineteenth century, these 'natural, industrial and artistic spoils had accumulated to such an extent that he gave up the whole house to the collections'.

His wife is reported to have said 'either the collection goes or we do'. With that, the family moved to Surrey Mount the grounds of which adjoined those of the former residence.

Surrey House Museum

The Horniman family's former London Road residence became known as the Surrey House Museum and was freely opened to the general public on 24 December 1890.

The museum was initially open every Wednesday and Saturday from 2pm until 9pm and on bank holidays from 10am to 9pm. Arrangements were made for the reception of schools, societies and clubs and every visitor was supplied with a free hand guide catalogue to help them examine and interpret the objects on display.

The collection was divided into two sections - Art and Nature. During its first year, the museum was open for 110 days and received 42,808 visitors. Mr Horniman and his staff including the museum's first curator Richard Quick continued to actively develop the collections with regards to both display and content. In 1893, it was necessary to build an extension onto the museum to accommodate the growing collection.

The adjoining gardens were officially opened to the public on 1 June 1895.

A free gift to the people

In 1898, Mr Horniman decided to erect a more suitable public museum in which the collections could be adequately displayed and appreciated. The old museum was closed on 29 January 1898 and demolished in the May of that year. Surrey Mount was used as a store house.

The architect Charles Harrison Townsend was commissioned to design the new museum. The foundations were laid between June and September 1898. When the building was completed, in his determination to increase the popularity and utility of the museum, particularly with regards to learning and education, Mr Horniman resolved to donate the museum, collections and adjoining grounds as a free gift to the people in perpetuity with London County Council as Trustees.

The Museum and Gardens were formally opened to the public on 29 June 1901. The Horniman family continued to take an active interest in the museum donating objects and large collections of books to the library. In 1912, Frederick Horniman's son Emslie Horniman generously donated money to build a new library and lecture theatre.

Under the London County Council and its various adaptations, the museum continued to develop collections and learning and education programmes that 'brought the world to Forest Hill'.

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