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.
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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.

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.

Operating as usual

Should you ever judge a book by its cover?Special collections libraries, like the one currently housed in the West Tower...
17/04/2021
A behind the scenes look into cataloguing rare materials - Museum of the Order of St John

Should you ever judge a book by its cover?

Special collections libraries, like the one currently housed in the West Tower of the Museum of the Order of St John, often hold a wealth of rare and unique materials such as early printed books, manuscripts, maps, historic documents, journals or ephemera. While these items may be of great value to researchers and to members of the general public, the collections often remain “hidden” and inaccessible to users if they are left unprocessed and uncatalogued.

So how does a rare book cataloguer go about their work? Find out in our latest blogpost from project librarian Adriana Celmare below (hint: it often does involve judging a book by its cover!)

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/cataloguing-historic-materials-a-behind-the-scenes-look/

Special collections libraries, like the one currently housed in the West Tower of the Museum of the Order of St John, often hold a wealth of rare and unique materials such as early printed books, manuscripts, maps, historic documents, journals or ephemera. While these items may be of great value to....

Culture Mile have taken their Play Packs to the streets of London to brighten up your journey with some fun activities. ...
13/04/2021
Play Packs - Culture Mile

Culture Mile have taken their Play Packs to the streets of London to brighten up your journey with some fun activities.

Pose like a famous London building. Challenge your friend to a game of opposites. Create your own secret code of communication. Go cloud spotting. These are just a few of the Play Prompts that you’ll uncover. Can you find the Museum's?

https://www.culturemile.london/playpacks

📸 © Odera Okoye

[Image description: Photograph of a bus shelter in a central London street with a brightly coloured poster with the words 'Let's Play' on it.]

Some of our Play Prompts are dotted around London. Look out for our colourful posters across the city and brighten up your journey with some fun activities.

Flashback to two years ago today when we had this beautiful model conserved. Now, we're pleased to announce that the mod...
11/04/2021

Flashback to two years ago today when we had this beautiful model conserved. Now, we're pleased to announce that the model features in our brand new Key Stage 2 schools resource: Creative writing with collections. Check out the schools page on our website to download the resource today!

In 1958 long-time St John Ambulance volunteer, Frank Smith, presented this model of the Santa Anna, flagship of the Hospitaller fleet in the 16th century, to the Order of St John. Mr Smith had built this model himself.

This ship model, also known as a Carrack, is a fantastic and detailed reproduction. The Santa Anna was designed as a warship, with many features that were considered very modern at the time. The detailed and delicate parts of the model unfortunately tend to gather lots of dust from being on display, so in 2019 we had a conservator come to give the model some care. We decided to have this conservation done on the museum floor, allowing visitors to see the conservation in action and ask questions about this specialist work.

Before conservation, the conservator assessed the item, and decided that the model was structurally sound with all textiles intact and showing no signs of degradation. In addition to the dust that had gathered on and in the model, a few small pieces were loose or had become detached, and so would have to be secured to the model during conservation.

The conservator used a variety of special soft brushes and other materials to gently remove the dust from the fabric portions of the model, and used a specialist detergent in distilled water to clean the wooden surfaces using cotton swabs. The identified damaged sections were then put back into place and repaired with specialist adhesive.

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/collections/model-of-the-santa-anna/

📸LDOSJ 5685 ©MOSJ/Matt Spour 2021

[Image description: Photograph of a wooden model ship with cotton sails.]

Flashback to two years ago today when we had this beautiful model conserved. Now, we're pleased to announce that the model features in our brand new Key Stage 2 schools resource: Creative writing with collections. Check out the schools page on our website to download the resource today!

In 1958 long-time St John Ambulance volunteer, Frank Smith, presented this model of the Santa Anna, flagship of the Hospitaller fleet in the 16th century, to the Order of St John. Mr Smith had built this model himself.

This ship model, also known as a Carrack, is a fantastic and detailed reproduction. The Santa Anna was designed as a warship, with many features that were considered very modern at the time. The detailed and delicate parts of the model unfortunately tend to gather lots of dust from being on display, so in 2019 we had a conservator come to give the model some care. We decided to have this conservation done on the museum floor, allowing visitors to see the conservation in action and ask questions about this specialist work.

Before conservation, the conservator assessed the item, and decided that the model was structurally sound with all textiles intact and showing no signs of degradation. In addition to the dust that had gathered on and in the model, a few small pieces were loose or had become detached, and so would have to be secured to the model during conservation.

The conservator used a variety of special soft brushes and other materials to gently remove the dust from the fabric portions of the model, and used a specialist detergent in distilled water to clean the wooden surfaces using cotton swabs. The identified damaged sections were then put back into place and repaired with specialist adhesive.

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/collections/model-of-the-santa-anna/

📸LDOSJ 5685 ©MOSJ/Matt Spour 2021

[Image description: Photograph of a wooden model ship with cotton sails.]

Did you know that the editions of First Aid Journal from the First and Second World War years have been digitised and ca...
10/04/2021

Did you know that the editions of First Aid Journal from the First and Second World War years have been digitised and can be viewed online?

Have a browse and see what interesting articles you can find. A lot's changed in 100 years!

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/the-museum-is-virtually-open/

#Archive30 #DigitalArchives

[Image description: Image of a double page spread from a magazine from 1912 with the title "First Aid: The Independent Journal for the Ambulance and Fire Services".]

Did you know that the editions of First Aid Journal from the First and Second World War years have been digitised and can be viewed online?

Have a browse and see what interesting articles you can find. A lot's changed in 100 years!

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/the-museum-is-virtually-open/

#Archive30 #DigitalArchives

[Image description: Image of a double page spread from a magazine from 1912 with the title "First Aid: The Independent Journal for the Ambulance and Fire Services".]

It's #WorldHealthDay2021, and, across the globe, St John is supporting communities through the Covid-19 pandemic.Follow ...
07/04/2021
World Health Day 2021: St John at the forefront of global Covid-19 response

It's #WorldHealthDay2021, and, across the globe, St John is supporting communities through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Follow the link to find out what's going on in countries around the world where St John operates. 👇

🌍🌏🌎

#OneStJohn

Read here how St John organisations continue to provide life-saving support to their communities in the fight against the worldwide pandemic.

Looking for something to do with the kids during the holidays? If you live near the Museum, how about hunting for the Pl...
04/04/2021
Play Packs - Culture Mile

Looking for something to do with the kids during the holidays?

If you live near the Museum, how about hunting for the Play Prompts that are dotted around the city thanks to Culture Mile? Can you find the prompt from us?

Download the free Play Packs here 👇

https://culturemile.london/playpacks

📸 Odera Okoye

With the arrival of the Easter weekend, we share these images from the Rhodes Missal.The Rhodes Missal is one of the fin...
02/04/2021

With the arrival of the Easter weekend, we share these images from the Rhodes Missal.

The Rhodes Missal is one of the finest treasures of the Museum: an illuminated manuscript dating from 1504, given to the Church of St John at Rhodes by Charles Aleman de Rochechenard, a Knight of the Order of St John and Grand Prior of its Priory of Saint Gilles.

The Missal, of 108 folios, contains the words for the Mass, or service of the Eucharist. It consists of two main parts: the Ordinary, which is unchanging and contains the sacred words for the consecration of the bread and wine, and the Proper, which contains the variable wording appropriate for celebrating a particular season or saint’s day. The Missal is lavishly decorated throughout in vibrant colours and gold paint, with historiated initials and decorative borders of flowers, fruit, birds and heraldic beasts, and illuminated miniatures illustrating the major Feast Days, from the Nativity to the Annunciation.

📸LDOSJ K100 © Museum of the Order of St John

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/collections/the-rhodes-missal/

[Image descriptions: first image shows an illustration of Christ's crucifixion against a bright blue sky. Second image shows an illustration of Christ with a wound in his side standing before an empty tomb].

Sunshine in the Chapter Hall ☀️[Image description: photograph of sunlight that has come through stained glass windows bo...
30/03/2021

Sunshine in the Chapter Hall ☀️

[Image description: photograph of sunlight that has come through stained glass windows bouncing off a parquet floor in a big hall with paneled walls and a chandelier]

Today is the 40th anniversary of the inaugural London Marathon, when over 600 members of St John Ambulance worked to pro...
29/03/2021
The Inaugural London Marathon – 29th March 1981 - Museum of the Order of St John

Today is the 40th anniversary of the inaugural London Marathon, when over 600 members of St John Ambulance worked to provide first aid relief for the runners and spectators.

🏃‍♀️🏃🏻🏃🏾‍♂️🏃🏃🏿‍♀️

Were you there? Or have you supported at any marathon since, in London or elsewhere?

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/the-inaugural-london-marathon-29th-march-1981/

Perhaps predictably, London drizzle set the scene for the inaugural London Marathon which took place on 29th March 1981. The event had been organised by the Greater London Council with sponsorship from the razor producer Gillette. Out of 20,000 applicants, 6,700 runners were selected. First aid and....

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, commemorating the moment in which the archangel Gabriel announces to the Virgin ...
25/03/2021

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, commemorating the moment in which the archangel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she will give birth to a child.

This painting in our collection is the one of twenty-eight paintings produced for Pope Innocent X between 1646 and 1652. All but one were painted by Luigi Gentile, or Primo, a Flemish artist working in Italy. On the reverse of the painting is an engraving of the Papal coat of arms.

📸© Museum of the Order of St John, London

[Image description: An oil painting of an angel dressed in white indicating upwards towards the heavens and addressing a woman whose head is bowed.]

#OnThisDay in 1530, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles V, granted the Order of St John sovereignty of the isl...
23/03/2021
Baton of the Grand Falconer of the Order - Museum of the Order of St John

#OnThisDay in 1530, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles V, granted the Order of St John sovereignty of the islands of Malta and Gozo, charging rent of one falcon a year.

🦅

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/collections/the-falconers-baton/

#MyLocalMuseum #TalesFromLongAgo

This impressive piece of equipment was owned by the Grand Falconer of the Order of St John. Made out of bone from the tusks of a walrus with a cast bronze mount, the baton has at the base of its handle a detailed depiction of a falcon sat atop a globe. As well as indicating...

This amazing photograph, taken in circa 1887, shows members of the St John Ambulance Association Tibshelf Colliery Centr...
20/03/2021

This amazing photograph, taken in circa 1887, shows members of the St John Ambulance Association Tibshelf Colliery Centre, one of the very first centres.

📸©MOSJ LDOSJ:PHA A611

[Image description: Black and white photograph of a group of men and boys in Victorian dress, mostly looking at the camera, with a wooden box or cart marked 'Tibshelf Colliery Centre St John Ambulance Association']

Today marks 185 years since the birth of Sir John Furley in Ashford, Kent. Furley developed the wheeled ‘Ashford Litter’...
19/03/2021
Museum of the Order of Saint John

Today marks 185 years since the birth of Sir John Furley in Ashford, Kent. Furley developed the wheeled ‘Ashford Litter’ for transporting a patient on a stretcher.

Cleverly designed, it had a cranked axle, allowing the stretcher bearers to walk through and away with the patient on the stretcher without having to lift them over the wheels.

This innovation led to the development of a whole new industry in Ashford, Kent where they were produced and sent around the world.

Visit us on Google Street View and see if you can find the Ashford Litter 👀🔎👇
http://ow.ly/F2oK50DYXOb

Or learn more about Furley and his Litter here: https://museumstjohn.org.uk/sir-john-furley-and-st-john-ambulance/

[Image description: Photograph of a black ink illustration in a book showing two stretcher bearers in uniform with a patient on a stretcher which is loaded on to a two-wheeled contraption.]

★★★★★ · Museum · St John’s Gate, 26 St John's Ln

We're delighted to announce the final #OnlineTalk in our current series!Swifts of hope and St John of Jerusalem Eye Hosp...
14/03/2021
Swifts of hope and St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital

We're delighted to announce the final #OnlineTalk in our current series!

Swifts of hope and St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital
Wednesday 24 March, 7pm

Learn more about the hospital from CEO Dr Ahmad Ma’ali and hear artist Mark Coreth speak in conversation with Dr Matthew Glozier about his artwork in the Muristan Clinic Garden.

St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group is the oldest and only charitable provider of expert eye care in the Middle East. It transforms lives by saving sight and treating patients regardless of ethnicity, religion or the ability to pay. In the first part of this event, join CEO Dr Ahmad Ma’ali to learn about the historic foundations of the Eye Hospital and the achievements and challenges faced by its expert team today.

In 2016 the Eye Hospital Group embarked on a creative venture with renowned sculptor Mark Coreth. The result was a beautiful and thought-provoking work of art in bronze. Described as a ‘beacon of hope’, a gnarled and ancient olive tree bustling with majestic swifts stands proudly in the Muristan Clinic Garden. For the second part of this event, we are delighted to hear from the sculptor himself. In an exclusive pre-recorded conversation with Dr Matthew Glozier, Mark will consider and discuss the inspiration for the Swifts, and his reflections on this moving project that now has a global reach.

All proceeds from this talk will be split equally between St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group and the Museum.

The Museum portion will go towards the conservation of the books and bound manuscripts in the Museum’s internationally significant library collection. To learn more about our work to preserve and increase access to this rich and fascinating collection you can read about previous conservation projects and current cataloguing work.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/swifts-of-hope-and-st-john-of-jerusalem-eye-hospital-tickets-144469430957

Learn more about the hospital from CEO Dr Ahmad Ma’ali and hear artist Mark Coreth speak about his artwork in the Muristan Clinic Garden.

This week’s History Begins at Home theme is Books. Have you seen our new online exhibition of books from our historic li...
12/03/2021
Collections Archive - Museum of the Order of St John

This week’s History Begins at Home theme is Books. Have you seen our new online exhibition of books from our historic library? Here are some questions to get you thinking and talking about your own memories, inspired by the books in the exhibition. #HBAHBooks

Profession des Chevaliers de S. Jean de Hierusalem

This beautifully illuminated manuscript describes the ceremony of joining the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in the 17th century. Have you ever taken part in a ceremony? What sort of ceremony was it? How did it make you feel?

Stabilimenta Militum Hierosolymitanorum

This book, like many in our historic library, is written in Latin. Did you learn Latin at school? Did you enjoy it?

Varj componimenti in lode dell’eminentissimo, e reverendissimo Principe Antonio Manoel de Villena…

This book is full of poetry. Did you read poetry at school? Or do you read it today? Do you have a favourite poet?

Relatione del viaggio di Levante fatto dalle Galere Pontificie congiuntamente con quelle di Francia, e di Malta…

This book was specifically bound for its first owner and his coat of arms were gold-stamped on both covers. Have you ever had a personalised book or notebook? How does it feel to have it personalised?

Warrant appointing the Empress Elisabeth Amalie of Austria to be a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem

This hand-written warrant appoints someone to be a Dame Grand Cross of the Sovereign Order of St John. Do you have anything similar, perhaps a certificate, which acknowledges an achievement of yours?

A pilgrimage to ye Pigge and Peas by Five Bores

This book gives an account of trips to various London landmarks including a pub which was nicknamed ‘Ye Pigge and Peas’. Have you ever kept a journal or scrapbook of an outing or a trip? How does it feel to look back at it?

Il pianto d’Arethusa: poemetto di Bernardino Martirano, dedicato al Signor Fra D. Francesco Bisagni, cavaliere gerosolimitano

This work retells the myth of Arethusa through a poem made of eighty-six stanzas. Do you have a favourite myth or fable that you were told as a child?

https://museumstjohn.org.uk/collections/?numPosts=8&pageNumber=1&category=196&action=collections_loop_handler

The Museum of the Order of St John would like to thank all those who have supported and continue to support its work. In particular, the Museum would like to thank the following for their generosity:

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

Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

020 7324 4005

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Comments

Hello, D. Shapland was in St John's Ambulance Brigade during WW2. I inherited her WW2 memorabilia. I would like to find out more about her and her service during WW2. (She was my Grandmother's best friend and shortly before she passed away, she gave her WW2 souvenirs to my Grandmother, that's how I got them). I remember my Grandmother saying she served in France in 1944. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Come join us on Wed 3rd june at 5pm UK time to find out more about where it all started. We will be showing a short film on the St John Eye Hospital Group in the Holy Land, followed by a Q&A with the producer and stage and screen legend Vanessa Redgrave, her son and director Carlo Nero, and former Chief Surgeon in Jerusalem Denise Magauran. Click here to reserve your place: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lDHX3hHsRteku2jgNl1qdQ
Hoping a fellow member can help me in my research regarding Alonzo Cotton. MBE., (c1862-1939) who became Chief Superintent of the Bristol Corps, headquarters based in Unity Street Bristol. Any image would be a wonderful bonus! Thank you in advance.
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 es**rt 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