Museum of the Order of St John

Museum of the Order of St John The Museum of the Order of St John is a free museum on the site of the ten acre Priory established in Clerkenwell by the Knights Hospitaller in the 1140s.
Drop in and visit our Museum galleries on the ground floor of St John's Gate at any time during our opening hours. Join a guided tour on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday for the chance to explore further, visiting the historic rooms upstairs at St John’s Gate as well as the Priory Church and crypt. Please visit our website for further details.
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The Museum of the Order of St John tells a unique and fascinating story — the story of the Order of St John — from its origins in eleventh century Jerusalem, through to its role today with St John Ambulance and the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem. This story highlights how, from founding a hospital to care for sick pilgrims in eleventh century Jerusalem, St John has maintained its caring role to the present day, working on numerous humanitarian projects worldwide. The Museum occupies two sites in Clerkenwell: St John’s Gate, which dates from 1504; and the Priory Church of St John with its surviving Twelfth Century Crypt. You can find us on Twitter too! @StJohnsGate (https://twitter.com/StJohnsGate)

How would you treat a burn or a scald? The talk we're hosting at the Museum on Wednesday evening will explore two centur...
20/01/2020
Burns First Aid and the Search for Simplicity in Britain, c.1800-2000

How would you treat a burn or a scald?

The talk we're hosting at the Museum on Wednesday evening will explore two centuries of confusion about this and will include a demonstration of the current first aid advice.

A talk by Dr Rebecca Wynter (University of Birmingham) and Professor Jonathan Reinarz (University of Birmingham) on burns first aid.

Lots of you guessed correctly! These items have historically been used to treat burns. If you're looking for the correct...
17/01/2020

Lots of you guessed correctly! These items have historically been used to treat burns. If you're looking for the correct way to treat the effects of heat or cold, take a look here: https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/effects-of-heat-and-cold/
To find out more about the history of burns and treatment, come along next week to one of our fantastic guest lectures in collaboration with Forged by Fire, more details on our events page!
http://museumstjohn.org.uk/events/?numPosts=8&pageNumber=&category=&type=&action=events_loop_handler

Don't try this at home! Here we have some items that were historically used as a home remedy, but to treat what? You might be surprised as they would be ill-advised!
Leave your guesses below and check back in with us tomorrow for the answer & what we would advise instead today!

Don't try this at home! Here we have some items that were historically used as a home remedy, but to treat what? You mig...
16/01/2020

Don't try this at home! Here we have some items that were historically used as a home remedy, but to treat what? You might be surprised as they would be ill-advised!
Leave your guesses below and check back in with us tomorrow for the answer & what we would advise instead today!

Museum of the Order of St John's cover photo
14/01/2020

Museum of the Order of St John's cover photo

We've been welcoming our first visitors of 2020 today, and they've also been the first to see our new exhibition, Forged...
13/01/2020
Lessons from a Forgotten Disaster: The Queen Victoria St Fire, 9 June 1902

We've been welcoming our first visitors of 2020 today, and they've also been the first to see our new exhibition, Forged by Fire. It's only on for a couple of weeks and there are plenty of events happening around it. The first one is in just two days' time.

On June 9, 1902, fire claimed nine lives on Queen Victoria Street in the City of London. Escape ladders were too short to rescue people from the top floors of the General Electric Company’s London offices, including several young women, prompting public outrage. This Wednesday evening, Professor Jonathan Reinarz (University of Birmingham) will give a talk reconstructing the events of that day using the voluminous coroner’s investigation into the fire and explain how this little-known fire links to the current exhibition, as well as the practice of historical research more generally.

A talk from Professor Jonathan Reinarz (University of Birmingham) about the lessons learnt from the loss of nine lives in a 1902 London fire

We're doing all sorts of work in the gallery space while we're closed to the public this week. Can anyone guess what's b...
07/01/2020

We're doing all sorts of work in the gallery space while we're closed to the public this week. Can anyone guess what's being prepared to be photographed here?

We're having some items in the collection professionally photographed by Relic Imaging Ltd  today, including this lifesa...
07/01/2020

We're having some items in the collection professionally photographed by Relic Imaging Ltd today, including this lifesaving medal.

A book is currently being put together about this award, so if you have any stories to share, please do get in touch.

We've just been installing this newly restored and rather impressive 1920s model of the St John Eye Hospital in its bran...
06/01/2020

We've just been installing this newly restored and rather impressive 1920s model of the St John Eye Hospital in its brand new case. It will be in the galleries for all to see when the Museum reopens next Monday 13th January.

Before Christmas, the Order's Prior, Lionel Jarvis, and his wife Penelope presented a copy of 'Treasures' to the Pope, a...
06/01/2020
Past and present treasures of the Order of St John

Before Christmas, the Order's Prior, Lionel Jarvis, and his wife Penelope presented a copy of 'Treasures' to the Pope, as reported here in the The Tablet.

The book, written by museum director Tom Foakes, showcases highlights from the Museum's collection and is available to buy in the Museum shop and online.

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/blogs/1/1343/past-and-present-treasures-of-the-order-of-st-john

The Order of St John continues to espouse its charitable mission, operating through healthcare charity St John Ambulance.

A beautiful painting in our collection by Anna Zinkeisen of two St John Ambulance Cadets will soon be going on display i...
06/01/2020

A beautiful painting in our collection by Anna Zinkeisen of two St John Ambulance Cadets will soon be going on display in our Museum, as part of a new display about St John Ambulance's young people.

Our #portraitoftheday is painter Anna Zinkeisen. Painted in 1944, this confident self-portrait of an artist, woman and worker showcases her bracelet, bearing the insignia of St John's Ambulance Brigade where she was volunteering as a casualty nurse.

Having studied painting at the Royal Academy Schools, during the inter-war period period Zinkeisen produced designs for adverts, magazine covers and book jackets as well as painting portraits. In 1934 she was commissioned to paint a mural, 'The Four Seasons', for the ocean liner Queen Mary, and in this period also exhibited at the Royal Academy. After the outbreak of the war, she volunteered for work in a first-aid post at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, where this portrait was likely painted.

05/01/2020
Blog - Bearers of the Cross

The time has come to conclude our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Twelve carved apostles🎵

Just one of the many treasures you can discover on the Bearers of the Cross website ⬇️

by Justin Bailey This post was originally published on the blog for the Museum of the Order of St John, available here. One of the best things about working in a small museum with a small team is the variety of my role. As the Museum’s office assistant I organise guided tours and look... Read m....

🎵On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Eleven o’clock tours 🎵Ok, so this one's a bit of a cheat, but ...
04/01/2020
Planning your visit - Museum of the Order of St John

🎵On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Eleven o’clock tours 🎵

Ok, so this one's a bit of a cheat, but if you've been enjoying our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas, perhaps you'd like to come and see some of our treasures for yourself when we reopen on 13th January.

Our tours at 11am and 2:30pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays allow you to see inside our historic rooms, church and crypt, and the galleries are open 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday for you to look around.

What there is to see The Museum of the Order of St John is housed in St John’s Gate. The Museum galleries on the ground floor can be visited at any time during our opening hours, as can the garden next to our Priory Church. The Church itself, its crypt, and the historic rooms upstairs...

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...🎵On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Ten acres of land...
03/01/2020
The Order of St John and King Henry VIII - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Ten acres of land 🎵

Now that is quite a gift, even if it was Henry VIII's gift to himself...

In 1540, as part of King Henry VIII’s split from the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, it was decreed that the Order of St John was dissolved in England and its properties were to be seized by the Crown. The Order’s lands in Clerkenwell, London encompassed ten acres and were populated by a num...

02/01/2020
Bertie Badger - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Nine Badger badges 🎵

These are going to feature in our brand new display about St John's young people which is coming to the Museum soon...

Bertie Badger has been the symbol of the St John Ambulance Badgers since they were founded in 1987 to mark the Charity’s centenary. A new branch of the Youth Organisation, Badger Setts allowed young children to participate in the work of St John Ambulance, demonstrating that the organisation was l...

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...🎵On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…An eight-pointed...
01/01/2020
The Valette Crystal Cross - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

An eight-pointed cross 🎵

After all, how could we have picked anything else for number 8?

This magnificent crystal cross was made in the sixteenth century at a time when clear glass was only just being developed and therefore crystal was all the more valuable. It is in the shape of an eight-pointed cross, the symbol of the Order of St John. The cross was given to Jean de la Valette,...

31/12/2019
Silver Siege Ingot - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Seven silver siege ingots 🎵

There are only seven silver siege ingots in existence. We only have two, but we still think that's pretty cool...

Only seven Silver Siege Ingots are known to exist. We are lucky to have two of them in our collection. These small objects provide a fascinating glimpse into life on Malta after the French invasion of 1798. Napoleon attacked Malta on route to Egypt. The strategic location of the island, situated in....

30/12/2019
A Six Tari Coin of Jean de Valette - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

A six tari coin 🎵

Find out about one of the BIGGEST coins in our collection ⬇️

Jean de Valette (b.c.1495) is one of the most influential figures in the history of the Order of St. John. A short trip around the Order Gallery highlights the importance of Valette to the history of Malta. A unique crystal cross and a golden bust are devoted to him. He served as Grand Master of...

29/12/2019
The medals of Brigade Chief Superintendent W.J. Church Brasier - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Five miniature medals 🎵

These tiny medals are on display in the Museum, but what were they awarded for? ⬇️

Service Medal of the Order of St John This is the Service Medal of the Order of St John awarded to Brigade Chief Superintendent W.J. Church Brasier in 1899. The design for this medal was approved by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales in 1898. Church Brasier was part of the first group to receive this...

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...🎵On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Four royal suppo...
28/12/2019
The Royal Supporters - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Four royal supporters 🎵

Do you know why there are lions and unicorns in our symbol?

Why are there Lions and Unicorns in the symbol of The Order of St John? They symbol for the order is a white, eight-pointed cross known as a ‘Maltese Cross’, whose eight points represent the eight ‘obligations’ or ‘aspirations’, qualities which those who wore it lived by. It was the cros...

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...🎵On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Three lion head d...
27/12/2019
Lion head door knocker or handle - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Three lion head door knockers 🎵

But how old are they? ⬇️

This is one of three bronze lion head handles or knockers on display in the Museum. They were discovered in Jerusalem in the early 1920s on the site of the first hospital run by the Order of St John from around AD 1080 to 1187. At the time of their discovery, Sir Harry Luke was...

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...🎵On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Two painted peop...
26/12/2019
Count Friedrich von Buxhoevden and Countess Natalia von Buxhoevden - Museum of the Order of St John

Time to continue our #Museum12DaysOfChristmas...

🎵On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Two painted people 🎵

But these two have got a story to tell ⬇️

Renowned for his intimate style and careful precision, Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky was one of the leading portraiture painters in early nineteenth century Russia. He began his career creating icon paintings for local churches. After producing two allegoric paintings for Empress Catherine II and Pet...

25/12/2019
The Spanish Cabinet - Museum of the Order of St John

Merry Christmas!

🎄❄️🔔

Starting today, we're going to be marking the twelve days of Christmas with posts celebrating our history and collection. So keep your eyes on our social media.

Let's begin!

🎵On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

One Spanish Cabinet. 🎵

One of the finest pieces of furniture in our collection, and you can take a sneaky peek inside below ⬇️

#Museum12DaysOfChristmas

The Spanish Cabinet is a seventeenth–century ebony cabinet with a beautiful interior. It currently stands in our Chapter Hall and is often featured on our public tours. In order to conserve the cabinet for the future, we keep it closed so this collection highlight offers a rare glimpse inside. A H...

Order GalleryPhoto by Francesco Ferla
23/12/2019

Order Gallery
Photo by Francesco Ferla

Museum of the Order of St John's cover photo
21/12/2019

Museum of the Order of St John's cover photo

We are now closed for Christmas! We would like to say a big thank you to every visitor who came through our doors this y...
21/12/2019

We are now closed for Christmas! We would like to say a big thank you to every visitor who came through our doors this year, to all of our staff and volunteers, and especially to all the little artists who came and helped to decorate our tree so beautifully, Merry Christmas! We will open again on Monday 13th January and we look forward to seeing you all in 2020!

So, we always knew we were good for your health… It turns out museums make you live longer, and the science proves it.  ...
19/12/2019
Theatre trips cut the risk of early death by 30%, study shows

So, we always knew we were good for your health… It turns out museums make you live longer, and the science proves it. We have different events taking place every month, so why not follow our public programme next year and prolong your life in 2020!

A study asked more than 6,000 over 50s in England about their leisure activity. The more they engaged with the arts, such as trips to the theatre or museum, the lower their risk of death, results showed.

13/12/2019

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are very sorry to say that the Museum will be closed on Saturday afternoon from 1pm. This means that only the 11am guided tour will be running. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused as a result of the late notice.

St John England
11/12/2019

St John England

Our Prior, Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis CBE KStJ DL, was honoured to have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis at The Vatican this morning.

He had the opportunity to present His Holiness with a copy of ‘Treasures’, the 2019 publication from the Museum of the Order of St John, which explains the history and mission of The Order through a wide range of objects in the Museum’s collection.

The photographs shows the Prior’s wife Penelope explaining the book to His Holiness.

The Prior said: ‘Meeting His Holiness Pope Francis was a truly spiritual experience and humbling to be in the company of such a kind man.’

‘Treasures’ is available from the Museum of The Order of St John at a cost of £50, and online via St John Supplies. It was created with a limited print run and would make an ideal gift for anyone with a passion for The Order and its long, rich history. All proceeds go to St John’s charitable output.

Ever wondered how historic items are conserved? We have a new blog post up about the recent conservation work undertaken...
09/12/2019
Portolan Chart Conservation - Museum of the Order of St John

Ever wondered how historic items are conserved? We have a new blog post up about the recent conservation work undertaken on our Portolan chart - a map of the coasts from 1673. It is thanks to kind donations that we are able to have this important and specialist work done! http://museumstjohn.org.uk/portolan-chart-conservation/

Portolan Chart Nicola il Board Vellum, board and leather 1673 LDOSJ 1438 335x429mm     One of the items in our collection is this Portolan Chart from 1673. Portolan charts were intended to be used as maps for sailing from port to port. The item in our collection, however, is a highly decorative ex...

We are one week into December and it's time to think about the Christmas post! This year we are selling some very specia...
07/12/2019

We are one week into December and it's time to think about the Christmas post! This year we are selling some very special Christmas cards featuring charming illustrations by Veronica Nisbet, a nurse who served in a St John Ambulance field hospital in France during the First World War. Veronica was a talented artist, and her illustrated scrapbook of her wartime experiences is on display here at the Museum. Drop in to the Museum any time before Christmas to buy cards and pick up some gifts!

The Jerusalem Tavern returns! Did you know that every year we hold a pub quiz in the historic Chapter Hall where you can...
05/12/2019

The Jerusalem Tavern returns! Did you know that every year we hold a pub quiz in the historic Chapter Hall where you can test your knowledge with a pint and a mince pie? Last night's was a great success, is your team ready for next year?

30/11/2019

Happy St Andrew's Day! Did you know that St John Ambulance does not operate north of the border? St Andrew's First Aid, founded in 1882, are in charge of first aid provisions in Scotland. Together with St John and the British Red Cross they produce the UK's official First Aid Manual.

Our Christmas tree has just arrived. We wish facebook had smellevision because it smells beautiful!🌲🎅🎄We'll be decoratin...
29/11/2019

Our Christmas tree has just arrived. We wish facebook had smellevision because it smells beautiful!

🌲🎅🎄

We'll be decorating it from Monday, but we'll need help! Drop in any time with your little ones to make a decoration.

https://bit.ly/2Y1g0Fr

Address

Museum Of The Order Of St John, St John's Gate, St John's Lane, Clerkenwell
London
EC1M 4DA

Farringdon Station (Thameslink and Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines) is a 5-minute walk from the Museum. Buses 55, 153 and 243 stop very nearby.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

020 7324 4005

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Comments

A MEMORABLE DAY! The story of the 'American Cadet Trophy for Gallantry' will be told on the group "First Aid History Group' but this note is just to record a remarkable day's events that ended my 10 year quest for the cup. It was found in a safe in the basement at St John's Gate in a red bag with no description and no inventory number. Abi Cornick remembered the cup from descriptions I had given and as soon as she called me I arranged to go and see it. As well as photographing the trophy and transcribing all the inscriptions I bumped into Lisa Millington who once worked in the cadet department. I also met the museum front desk staff Jess who with Rachel write most of the Museum page almost daily entries that are so fascinating. I finally succumbed to purchasing the magnificent 'St John Treasures' book and finally made it to the ACFA Christmas lunch (ACFA was the last St John Ambulance Special Centre). A truly memorable day!
Nil Sine Labore.
Hermoso Museo de St John. Saludos afectuosos al Sr. Franco Nicoletti
I am very much interested to obtain this precious book. Kindly tell me in way I get to this book. Thanks
Good luck with today have fun.
Hiya I'm looking for some help please my nans furneral is today 3 October at north chapel landican 2pm, leaving from co op furneral home woodchurch road 1.30pm and we're looking for 6 volunteers from St John's ambulance brigade my nan was a officer from the Bebington and eastern brigade in the 1970s and early 80s and then did a furthure career in nursing but has always honenerd the st johns birgade. We would like an honour guard to escort her to her finaly resting place. Could anyone help please thank you our family have already contacted the official channels but told due to the lateness they wouldn't be able to help us and told us to ask for volunteers Mrs Irene murray 13 January 1945 to 16 September 2017 any donations will go to the St John's ambulance brigade thank you please share
As we observe Malaysia Day today, our thoughts and prayers are with those children and teachers who perished in the KERAMAT school fire , and those injured on the LONDON tube and first responders who assisted them. ST. JOHN AMBULANCE SARAWAK and THE SARAWAK CHESHIRE HOME join me in sending our deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families in the school fire , and our best wishes to those injured on the London tube . Ang Lai Soon🌹 Founder/District Commissioner & Chairman & Commander St. John Ambulance Sarawak President Sarawak Cheshire Home
I'm so happy to have found your site. Despite frequent visits with my son who lives in England, we have not heard of your museum. This autumn I'm bringing my 94 year old mum for a visit to her native London. She was an ambulance driver there during World War 2 and over her 72 years living in the states she has shared with us many of her stories. We will definitely put your museum on our list of must sees.
IRREGULAR AND UNHEARD OF IN THE HISTORY OF ST. JOHN? Who (the appointed officers in kuala Lumpur) were responsible for the Interregnum between 2014 & 2015 in st john ambulance sarawak?. For disciplined uniform organization to disobey the rules of an act of parliament was something most serious. People expect senior officers should every time show perfect example & should not disgrace the organization. They did not seem to understand simple rules. How to lead if you cannot understand simple english? These officers must let the public know the reason why there was a vacuum for so many months?. Below is the New Straits Times (National Newspaper of Malaysia) comment one year ago. https://www.google.com.my/amp/www.nst.com.my/node/161477/amp
down memory lane.. St. John Ambulance SARAWAK celebrated ST. JOHN'S DAY. HISTORY WAS MADE..THE FIRST OF ITS KIND ST. JOHN'S DAY CELEBRATION FOR CHRISTIAN MEMBERS IN MALAYSIA. Two Archbishops , a Catholic and an Anglican, officiated at two Inter- denominational SERVICES for Christian officers and members in Sarawak. (ST . JOHN AMBULANCE SARAWAK WAS FOUNDED AS A DISTRICT IN 1971. The four Districts were Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore . (note from administrator)