Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum and Gardens An inspiring, surprising, family-friendly, free Museum and Gardens in South London’s Forest Hill.
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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 ou

r 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.

- The Museum is open daily, except for Wednesdays.
- The Gardens are open from 7.15am (8am Sundays and Bank Holidays) until Sunset.
- The Butterfly House is open from 10.30am - 4pm (last admission 3.30pm) daily, except Wednesdays. See the website for more details about how to plan your visit: https://www.horniman.ac.uk/plan-your-visit/

We've got another Home Education Workshop coming up next month!On 13 November, join us to learn about Gamelan, an Indone...
27/10/2023

We've got another Home Education Workshop coming up next month!

On 13 November, join us to learn about Gamelan, an Indonesian music ensemble featuring bronze gongs, cymbals and drums. The session will encourage participants to work together to produce sound and music.

Andy Channing, founder and artistic director of professional Gamelan music group Lila Cita, will run the workshop.

Tickets for the session, which will run from 1.15-2.45pm, cost £3.50 and are available on our website. This event is suitable for children aged 11-16.

Join us for exciting, interactive object handling workshops for home educated children this autumn.

Reflecting on Form 696Form 696 was a risk assessment introduced by the Metropolitan Police in 2005. It was for promoters...
26/10/2023

Reflecting on Form 696

Form 696 was a risk assessment introduced by the Metropolitan Police in 2005. It was for promoters and organisers of music events that featured DJs and MCs. Following its introduction, Form 696 was criticised for racist undertones.

In this article with Google Arts & Culture, we explore Form 696 and the impact it had on Black British artists.

Learn about form 696 and it's impact on Black British artists

Remember that the Gardens will be closed on Saturday for the Halloween Fair 🎃 The Museum will be open as usual and acces...
23/10/2023

Remember that the Gardens will be closed on Saturday for the Halloween Fair 🎃

The Museum will be open as usual and access will be via London Road only.

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

Brick Dinos is in its final week 🦖This half term, we're running dinosaur bag making workshops as our Brick Dinos exhibit...
23/10/2023

Brick Dinos is in its final week 🦖

This half term, we're running dinosaur bag making workshops as our Brick Dinos exhibition comes to a close on 29 October.

We're running the bag workshops every day Monday-Friday this week, and there's still time to pay a visit to Brick Dinos before it closes! Tickets and more information available on our website.

Join Make Mee Studio to learn how to turn an old piece of clothing and scrap fabrics into a roar-some dinosaur bag!

We are looking to recruit three new trustees. The trustees provide vision, direction, control and accountability in fulf...
20/10/2023

We are looking to recruit three new trustees. The trustees provide vision, direction, control and accountability in fulfilling the Horniman’s public purpose, as well as having responsibilities as Directors of the Company.

Candidates are particularly sought with a background in or experience of law. sustainability and ecology, or major donor and corporate fundraising.

Applications close at 10am on Friday 17 November. Find more information and how to apply on our website.

https://bit.ly/hornimantrustee

'I grew attached to the Nature Trail and its abundance of foliage of ecology, and I spent some time walking up and down ...
19/10/2023

'I grew attached to the Nature Trail and its abundance of foliage of ecology, and I spent some time walking up and down documenting the surroundings as I started to become familiar with the landscape. This also allowed me to process my thoughts and to try and find a narrative that I could build upon.'

Marie Smith, Horniman Digital Artist in Residence, tells us about the work she has been doing over the last six months.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/about-the-art-marie-smith/

Join award-winning hairstylist Charlotte Mensah for her Curl Power Workshop at the Horniman Museum.Charlotte will be giv...
19/10/2023

Join award-winning hairstylist Charlotte Mensah for her Curl Power Workshop at the Horniman Museum.

Charlotte will be giving an interactive curl masterclass for parents and newbies on managing textured hair, transitioning to natural hair and styling tips for children's curls.

Join us in the Horniman Conservatory from 11am - 1pm on Sunday 5 November. Tickets are available on our website.

Join award-winning hair stylist and author Charlotte Mensah for a curl masterclass designed for parents and newbies.

'Extraction: In conversation with Anna Atkins' is an online exhibition created by digital  artist in residence Marie Smi...
17/10/2023

'Extraction: In conversation with Anna Atkins' is an online exhibition created by digital artist in residence Marie Smith

Marie's work is in response to the Horniman’s collection of cyanotypes of botanical specimens made by pioneering Victorian scientist and photographer Anna Atkins.

It is inspired by photographs of the Horniman Nature Trail and Gardens, alongside leaves and flowers collected from the Nature Trail.

All images © Marie Smith

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/extraction-in-conversation-with-anna-atkins/

There's still time to book for our dinosaur bag workshops in October half term!Join Make Mee Studio to craft dinosaur ba...
17/10/2023

There's still time to book for our dinosaur bag workshops in October half term!

Join Make Mee Studio to craft dinosaur bags using recycled fabrics. Workshops last 60 minutes and are great for children aged 3+. Sessions available from 23-27 October at 10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm.

More information and booking available on our website.

Join Make Mee Studio to learn how to turn an old piece of clothing and scrap fabrics into a roar-some dinosaur bag!

Uncovering the connections between the Horniman collection and Guyanese masqueradeMasquerades are found in many cultures...
12/10/2023

Uncovering the connections between the Horniman collection and Guyanese masquerade

Masquerades are found in many cultures but are thought to have originated with the Fulani people in West Africa 8,000 years ago. In the 1600s, enslaved Africans were taken to the Caribbean, where their traditions were suppressed by the European authorities.

In the Caribbean, enslaved Africans continued their masking traditions in secret. In some places, including Barbados, traditions came together from across cultures and created a new kind of masquerade.

This article explores the Horniman's collection of masks and its connections to masquerade as part of Union Black with Google Arts & Culture.



Exploring masquerade practices of the Caribbean with Horniman Community Action Researcher, Scherin Barlow Massay

Our friends at Leighton House and Sambourne House are holding two family-friendly workshops to celebrate World Animal Da...
12/10/2023

Our friends at Leighton House and Sambourne House are holding two family-friendly workshops to celebrate World Animal Day this month.

Make fantastical imagined creatures out of clay on Saturday 21 October. Booking available via their website.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=706144044881444&id=100064575639776&sfnsn=scwspmo

Inspired by the fantastical creatures hiding in the magical landscapes of Maha Ahmed's upcoming exhibition 'Where Worlds Meet', join our hands-on workshops for children and young adults to create their own imagined animals using clay.

🎨 Family Fun: Fantastical Creatures Clay Modelling
📅 Saturday 21 October, 11am-12:30pm
👩‍👧‍👦 For children aged 5-11yrs
💰 £5 (free for accompanying adult) - LAST TWO SPACES
🎫 Book your tickets: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/museums/family-fun-fantastical-creatures-clay-modelling

🎨 Avatar Building: Clay Modelling for Young Adults
📅 Saturday 21 October, 2-4pm
👩‍🎨 For young adults aged 11-16yrs
💰 £5
🎫 Book your tickets: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/museums/avatar-building-clay-modelling-young-adults

🦁🐍🦉

Our next Hear It Live! is coming up this week 🎺Join us on Thursday in our Music Gallery for The Sound of Tea: An event t...
10/10/2023

Our next Hear It Live! is coming up this week 🎺

Join us on Thursday in our Music Gallery for The Sound of Tea: An event to celebrate the opening of our Cha, Chai, Tea exhibition.

We will be joined by Carnatic singer Supriya Nagarajan and harpist Lucy Nolan from 3.30-4pm on Thursday 12 October. Come along for a listen!

Join us in the Music Gallery to hear performances and talks based on our musical instrument collection, including our 1772 Kirckman harpsichord.

Born on this day: Our founder Frederick Horniman.Frederick Horniman, the son of a Quaker tea trader from Bridgwater, Som...
08/10/2023

Born on this day: Our founder Frederick Horniman.

Frederick Horniman, the son of a Quaker tea trader from Bridgwater, Somerset, was born on 8 October 1835.

He joined the family business when he was 14 years old and moved to Forest Hill in 1868, where he started his collection of ethnographic objects, natural history specimens and musical instruments. He later opened his house as a gallery to the public, then commissioned a purpose-built museum space.

Our founder is remembered as a social reformer, but it is important to acknowledge that his wealth was made in the tea trade, an industry which relied on the exploitation of people living in the British Empire.

You can read more about his life and legacy on our blog.

Liberal philanthropist and social reformer – or rampant colonialist? What’s the truth about our founder Frederick Horniman?

Our tea exhibition launches today 🫖Visit our free exhibition to explore the many stories of Britain's national drink, sp...
07/10/2023

Our tea exhibition launches today 🫖

Visit our free exhibition to explore the many stories of Britain's national drink, spanning millennia and connecting countries across the globe.

What’s in a cup of tea? 茶, चाय, Tea explores the many stories of Britain’s national drink, spanning millennia and connecting communities across the world.

Join us for an Enchanted Cinema experience!The Enchanted Cinema will be bringing their interactive shows to the Horniman...
06/10/2023

Join us for an Enchanted Cinema experience!

The Enchanted Cinema will be bringing their interactive shows to the Horniman this season. They'll need your help with the sound effects to much-loved animations, so make sure you warm up your vocal chords.

Me have multiple screenings on 12 and 26 November. Tickets are available now on the website.

The Enchanted Cinema is bringing their interactive shows to the Horniman. Help them create the sound effects to much-loved animations.

Remembering Form 696 and its implications for Black British music.In the wake of Form 696, which was heavily criticised ...
04/10/2023

Remembering Form 696 and its implications for Black British music.

In the wake of Form 696, which was heavily criticised for making it harder for London venues to host Black music events, many genres continued to flourish in private spaces.

Dance Can't Nice explores the relationship between Black British music and physical space.

This post is part of Union Black with Google Arts & Culture.



Celebrating the powerful influence of Black British music culture

Born on this day: Annie Horniman, daughter and eldest child of our founder Frederick Horniman.Born in 1860, Annie grew u...
03/10/2023

Born on this day: Annie Horniman, daughter and eldest child of our founder Frederick Horniman.

Born in 1860, Annie grew up to become an influential suffragette and opened a theatre alongside her friend WB Yeats. She loved cycling and studied at the Slade School of Art.

Annie was made a Companion of Honour a few years before she died in 1937. We take a look at her life and achievements on our website.

Annie Horniman was the daughter and eldest child of Frederick John Horniman and his first wife Rebekah. We had a look at her interesting life.

Cha, Chai, Tea is opening this week and we're so excited for it!From Saturday 7 October, our exhibition will be open for...
02/10/2023

Cha, Chai, Tea is opening this week and we're so excited for it!

From Saturday 7 October, our exhibition will be open for visitors looking to explore the historical, colonial and social implications of a cuppa.

Learn about the production of tea, from the people who work on the plantations to the processes involved in making the tea that is widely consumed today.

This exhibition is free to visit at our Museum.

What’s in a cup of tea? 茶, चाय, Tea explores the many stories of Britain’s national drink, spanning millennia and connecting communities across the world.

There's another Hear it Live! event coming up this month.On Thursday 12 October we'll be listening to The Sound of Tea: ...
01/10/2023

There's another Hear it Live! event coming up this month.

On Thursday 12 October we'll be listening to The Sound of Tea: an event to celebrate the opening of our latest exhibition, Cha, Chai, Tea. Harpist Lucy Nolan and Carnatic singer Supriya Nagarajan will be taking to the stage from 3.30-4pm in our Music Gallery.

The event is free and drop in. We hope to see you there!

Join us in the Music Gallery to hear performances and talks based on our musical instrument collection, including our 1772 Kirckman harpsichord.

Next Sunday 8 October we'll be hosting a drop-in tea tasting with London Tea Friends.Join us in the Conservatory to tast...
30/09/2023

Next Sunday 8 October we'll be hosting a drop-in tea tasting with London Tea Friends.

Join us in the Conservatory to taste some of the infusions featured in our Cha, Chai, Tea exhibition. Learn about how factors including terroir and aging can affect flavour and sample Wuyi Oolong and Pu'erh brews. The event is free and will run from 11am-3pm.

Join London Tea Friends for a casual tasting of some of the infusions featured in our exhibition; Cha, Chai, Tea.

There's only one month left to visit our Brick Dinos exhibition!Our LEGO dinosaur show will be closing on 29 October, so...
29/09/2023

There's only one month left to visit our Brick Dinos exhibition!

Our LEGO dinosaur show will be closing on 29 October, so make sure you get any final visits in before then. Spot the Masiakasaurus, the flying pterosaur and the swamp-dwelling Sarcosuchus at the Horniman Museum.

We advise advance booking to avoid disappointment on the day.

Discover the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods like never before and meet dinosaurs and other prehistoric giants face to face, masterfully built by LEGO® bricks.

The Horniman Halloween Fair is back and we're excited for it!Join us on 28 October from 11am - 4pm for spooky seasonal f...
28/09/2023

The Horniman Halloween Fair is back and we're excited for it!

Join us on 28 October from 11am - 4pm for spooky seasonal fun and games, and join in with music, crafts, circus skills, rides, hooping, bubbles and more.

Tickets are now available on our website. This event usually sells out so please be aware that advance booking is advised.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/event/halloween-fair/

There's still time to apply for UK Boardroom Apprentice 2024.We've signed up as a host museum this year. The scheme is a...
25/09/2023

There's still time to apply for UK Boardroom Apprentice 2024.

We've signed up as a host museum this year. The scheme is a twelve month unique board learning, development and placement programme which enables those who would like to serve on a public or third sector board to gain experience.

Applications close on Monday 9 October. You can apply via the Boardroom Apprentice website.

The Boardroom Apprentice is about delivering diversity, creating change and achieving aspirations, supported by the Department of Finance.

Make some noise in our Sound Garden 🎺This is our Spiral Scraper, tuned to the key of C. Its design is inspired not just ...
24/09/2023

Make some noise in our Sound Garden 🎺

This is our Spiral Scraper, tuned to the key of C. Its design is inspired not just by our music collection but also by our natural history collection, can you see why?

You can visit our outdoor music equipment during our Gardens opening hours, which on Sundays run from 8am-7.30pm.

Have a dino day during October half term 🦖We love dinosaurs at the Horniman and we've got lots to do for kids that love ...
23/09/2023

Have a dino day during October half term 🦖

We love dinosaurs at the Horniman and we've got lots to do for kids that love dinos too! Learn how to turn an old piece of clothing into a dinosaur bag at a craft workshop with Make Mee Studio, then visit Brick Dinos before it closes on 29 October.

Lots of our October half term activities are now open for booking on our website.

Join Make Mee Studio to learn how to turn an old piece of clothing and scrap fabrics into a roar-some dinosaur bag!

Tomorrow we will be learning about reusing household items in our Family Craft session.Make a badge from a bottle cap an...
22/09/2023

Tomorrow we will be learning about reusing household items in our Family Craft session.

Make a badge from a bottle cap and discover other recycling possibilities in a bid to re-purpose waste in light of the climate emergency. The session will run from 2-4pm on Saturday in our Education Centre.

Join our volunteer team on Saturday afternoons for family craft activities inspired by the Museum’s collections.

Conker season is upon us!Forage to your heart's content in our Gardens, if you can get to them before the squirrels do. ...
21/09/2023

Conker season is upon us!

Forage to your heart's content in our Gardens, if you can get to them before the squirrels do. Conkers are mildly toxic to humans and most animals if eaten but are loved by deer and squirrels can eat them in small quantities. Will you be playing conkers this autumn?

It's very windy today, so please take care in our Gardens and don't dwell under trees!If you're looking to escape the dr...
20/09/2023

It's very windy today, so please take care in our Gardens and don't dwell under trees!

If you're looking to escape the dreary weather, there's lots to do for free in our indoor spaces, so why not pay a visit to our friendly walrus, discovery new instruments in the Music Gallery or make a wish on the Cloutie Tree in the World Gallery.

Discover what you can see and do on your day out to the Horniman, from strolling around our Gardens to getting up close with marine life in our Aquarium.

Have you ever wondered what was the biggest animal ever to live on Earth? And have you heard about a bird so small it is...
19/09/2023

Have you ever wondered what was the biggest animal ever to live on Earth? And have you heard about a bird so small it is often mistaken for a bee? We've compiled a list of the biggest and smallest reptiles, mammals, fish, dinosaurs and birds in the world, which you can read on our blog.

The vast animal kingdom encompasses all species, but learn about the biggest and smallest birds, reptiles, fish, mammals and dinosaurs here.

We have another Bright and Early morning visit coming up for Brick Dinos on 3 October 🦖Bright and Early visiting times a...
18/09/2023

We have another Bright and Early morning visit coming up for Brick Dinos on 3 October 🦖

Bright and Early visiting times are quiet opening hours (9-10am) for neurodivergent families who are unable to visit when the Horniman is busy. Tickets are free but booking is essential.

You can find out more and reserve a place by visiting our website.

A special early viewing for families unable to visit when the Horniman is busy, including children with autism or neurodiverse families.

Autumn is such a lovely time in our Gardens and on 29 October the gardening team will be leading a Autumn Gardens Tour f...
17/09/2023

Autumn is such a lovely time in our Gardens and on 29 October the gardening team will be leading a Autumn Gardens Tour for Members and Benefactors.

Hear from our gardeners and learn about the work the team do to keep the Gardens beautiful in the autumn, and the changes we are making to make our gardening practices more sustainable. Tickets available.

Members and Benefactors can enjoy an exclusive tour of the award-winning Horniman Gardens led by Gardens team.

Address

100 London Road
London
SE233PQ

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 10am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 10am - 5:30pm
Thursday 10am - 5:30pm
Friday 10am - 5:30pm
Saturday 10am - 5:30pm
Sunday 10am - 5:30pm

Telephone

+442086991872

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The Horniman Story

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.

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.

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Comments

The giant tuba that sits in our Music Gallery was originally fitted to the wall of the Besson & Co factory at 198 Euston Road as a shop sign.

When the factory was purchased by Boosey & Hawkes the tuba was installed on the roof of the porch there too.



https://www.horniman.ac.uk/object/2015.137.1/
We are open as usual over the bank holiday weekend, and recommend booking early for Brick Dinos, the Butterfly House and Aquarium 🦋🐟🦕

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/whats-on/
Join us on Saturday 10 June for the Horniman Plant Fair, in partnership with Plant Fairs Roadshow.

Listen to talks, buy specialist plants, get advice and take part in tours and workshops 🌻

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/event/horniman-plant-fair/
Did you know that the name 'polacanthus' means ‘many spines’ in Ancient Greek? The name refers to this dinosaur's exciting array of armour.

Dr Emma Nicholls tells us more about the dinosaur that inspired this Lego model. Find it for yourself in Brick Dinos!

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/spotlight-on-polacanthus/
As the climate in the UK warms up, choosing drought resistant plants that are resistant to climate change is becoming increasingly important for all gardeners.

We’re making changes throughout the Gardens to what we plant and the way that we plant it.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/gardening-in-response-to-climate-change/
Join us this weekend for the launch of Second-hand Sundays. This brand new sale, which is part of Horniman Market is a great way to search out a second-hand treat.

Find all sorts of goodies including preloved clothes, toys, recycled design, bric-a-brac, vinyl, jewellery and second hand books.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/event/horniman-market/
The Horniman is seeking three artists for a 6-month residency which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of south London through the creation of new music.

We want people who will bring new perspectives to the Museum. You don’t need experience in anything other than creating music. As part of your residency you will create new music, help recruit a digital artist to document your process, and introduce a new instrument into our handling collection.

Apply by 25 May.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/callout-musicians-in-residence/
Step back in time with Brick Dinos and meet some of the largest beasts to ever walk the earth, recreated using LEGO® bricks.

Dress up, play, get hands-on and even make your own Brick Dino.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/event/brick-dinos/
We are looking for an organised Events Assistant to support the planning and delivery of the Horniman’s public event and activity programme.

Interested? Apply by 9 May 👇

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/about-the-horniman/jobs/
We are looking for people under 30 and living in South London to programme outdoor events on our Bandstand this August.

You’ll have a budget for your line up, as well as professional development opportunities, and support in planning, budgeting, marketing and the curating of your line up. The events should bring people together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of South London.

Apply by 15 May!

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/callout-bandstand-live/
A growing environmental movement in the US, the activism of the 1960s, and a 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara all highlighted the need for a day in support of Earth, and the environmental protections that it needs.



https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/why-do-we-celebrate-earth-day/
According to a popular story in China, the first tea drinker was Emperor Shennong, who was boiling some water when the wind blew some leaves into the pot. The Emperor not only enjoyed the taste, but felt invigorated too.

The leaves came from the Camellia sinensis plant - otherwise known as the tea plant.



https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/tea-drinking-along-the-silk-road/
Join us on Earth Day and make your very own wildlife comic with artist Giulia Casarotto!

Part of Art Fund's The Wild Escape 🦚

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/event/the-wild-escape-make-a-wildlife-comic/
Lichens are everywhere. The blotches you see on steps and walls are lichen. They are the orange crusts on trees. In the clean air of the west of England, they hang in beardy strands from branches. In London a lot of them will look like chewing gum on pavements and walls.

Nature Trail regular Daniel Harwood shines a light on lichen.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/learning-to-love-the-lichen/
From getting to the Horniman to picnicking when you're here, there are lots of ways you can be a climate-friendly visitor, and help us reduce our carbon footprint - and yours!

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/story/how-to-be-a-green-visitor/
Coming to the Horniman from May - slide, balance, climb and bounce at our new Under the Sea Soft Play 🐟🐙

For children 6 and under, our aquarium-themed play area will delight and challenge.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/event/soft-play/