When you think about London and its plethora of museums, one is automatically inclined to think about the British Museum or the Natural History Museum, rather than the Free Masonry, Cartoon, and Hunterian. I, along with the rest of the QMUL History Society, spent a rainy Saturday exploring these historical gems and more, which are unknown to tourists and forgotten by regular museum-goers. Here are my favourite two:
First up was the Cartoon Museum, located in the heart of Bloomsbury, is a very cool place, showcasing a wide range of fantastic art. These included well-loved characters seen in comic books and on television, as well as both political and satirical pieces. The museum not only allows you to develop the knowledge you already have, but to explore the hidden history – which may surprise you – about even the most famous of cartoon characters! Though not free, admission is only £3 for students, which I think is still a great deal for access to some historical art which is cemented in pop culture.
Second on our list was the Free Masonry Museum, just a short walk from Holborn tube station. Freemasons was a secret organisation which held elaborate ceremonies, and this museum helps you look into the masonic history of your family or friend – so if secrecy and curiosity is your thing, head on down and see what secrets you can uncover! They also have a range of pottery, silverware, and furniture, and regalia on display, if delving into the past isn’t your cup of tea.
Both of these museums are just a short walk from each other, and are also a part of the ‘Museum Mile’, a collection of thirteen of London’s best museums, only a thirty minute walk between them.
I’d hugely recommend you going to visit at least one, to see what London’s historical scene has to offer – you never know what you might learn…