Imperial War Museum London

16:37 Mon 24th May 2010 |

The Imperial War Museum London is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day. The Museum spans a huge range of activities not only at its main London location but also at its four further branches.

The Imperial War Museum was founded in 1917 to record the story of the Great War and the contributions made to it by the peoples of the Empire. When the Museum first opened it was housed in the Crystal Palace. From 1924 to 1935 the Museum was housed in two small galleries adjoining the Imperial Institute. In 1936 it was reopened in the central portion of the former Bethlem Royal Hospital in Lambeth Road, Southwark where it remains.

The terms of the trustees have over the years expanded to include all military operations in which British or Commonwealth forces have been involved since August 1914. The Imperial War Museum is thus the national museum of twentieth century conflict.

The Imperial War Museum London is now a multi-branch national museum on six sites, five of which are open to the general public, and all of which are integral elements of the Museum. The other public branches are the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, the historic ship HMS Belfast, moored in the Pool of London, Imperial War Museum Duxford near Cambridge, and Imperial War Museum North in Trafford.


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Contact details for the Imperial War Museum London tel: +44 (0)20 7416 5320, fax: +44 (0)20 7416 5374, email:

The Imperial War Museum London is open daily 10.00am - 6.00pm, last admission 5.45pm (closed 24, 25 and 26 December). Admission is free; however, special exhibitions may charge an admission fee.

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