Have you already visited the British Museum, Natural History Museum, National Gallery and wondering where to head next? London’s full of museums and some of them are really surprising. From the shocking history of medicine and famous psychoanalytic couches to old packages of cereals, they exhibit some very unusual artefacts. Visit one (or all) and it’s going to be not only an educational, but also fun experience. Here are the top 6 of strangest and most unique Museums in London.
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Magic Circle Museum, Euston
Have you ever wondered how illusionists do their tricks? The Magic Circle Museum uncovers their secrets. Don’t worry about magic becoming less fascinating after you get to know it’s actually a mixture of science and performing skills, the tricks are even more interesting when you find out what kind of smart ideas they’re based on. In the museum you can find out what kind of techniques were used by such famous magicians as Chung Ling So or Robert-Houdin, how they made things invisible or were shot dead but survived.
The website: http://themagiccircle.co.uk/
Address: 12 Stephenson Way, Euston
Freud Museum, Hampstead
The museum’s situated in the house in which Sigmund Freud used to live with his family after the Nazi annexation of Austria. It was created and opened to the public because of the wish of Freud’s daughter, Anna. Besides of psychoanalysis, Freud was also interested in art and antiques, so his house is full of unique gems including ancient figures, old, precious furniture, Oriental rugs, pieces of Egyptian, Green and Roman art, all together about 2000 items. There’s also an incredible collection of books, both those gathered by Sigmund and his daughter Anna who was a psychoanalytic as well. Among all the artefacts, the most interesting is Freud’s famous couch used by his patients during the sessions.
The website: http://www.freud.org.uk/
Address: 20 Maresfield Gardens
The Old Operating Theatre, London Bridge
Before the wonderful discovery of anesthetics, medicine was much bloodier and scarier than it is now. In the Old Operating Theatre you can learn more about the methods and equipment used by surgeons during the Victorian period. The wood-paneled space with strange devices looks weird enough, but as you listen to the stories told by the museum staff, it becomes even more gruesome. Pain, bones, screaming and open guts – that’s what you’ll hear about. The Old Operating Theatre is situated in a baroque church and on the roof terrace there’s the adjacent Herb Garret. It was used to grow poppies and prepare opium.
The website: http://www.thegarret.org.uk/
Address: 9a St. Thomas Street
Cartoon Museum, Holborn
The Cartoon Museum is tons of fun, especially if you’re enthusiastic about cartoons. Even if you aren’t though, it’s still great to take a look at the exhibitions and learn something new. The collection dates from 18th century till now and includes examples of British comic art, cartoon art and caricature. Dennis the Menace, The Bash Street Kids, Dennis the Menace and other joyful cartoons will surely bring a smile on your face, while politically oriented works can make you think of more serious matters.
The website: http://www.cartoonmuseum.org/
Address: 35 Little Russell St
Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising, Notting Hill
The colorful exhibits of this quirky museum are amusing and surprising. They include thousands of packs, posters, tins and other things people usually just throw away. Wondering how chocolate bars used to be packed like in 1930’s or what people had on their kitchen shelves in mid-19th century? If you visit the museum, you’ll find out. As the name suggests, it focuses on the history of brands, packaging and advertising. The oldest items date back to 19th century and present the style of Victorian era.
The website: http://www.museumofbrands.com/
Address: 2 Colville Mews, London
Hunterian Museum, Holborn
Just like The Old Operating Theatre, Hunterian Museum’s also focuses on medicine. Not only the subject, but level of creepiness connects those two museums. Illustrations, paintings and other visual works provide information about technical aspect of surgery, as well as the emotional side of it. You’ll get to see the representations of patients and doctors and feel the atmosphere of operating theatres. While some of the items are rather “normal”, many can get you goose-bumps. Animals’ teeth, human remains placed in jars, dentures of some famous people, a film showing removal of brain tumor and other weird (to say the least) things can be found there.
Address: 5-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Do you know some other quirky museums in London? Let us know!