Museums We Wish Existed In London

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 25 months ago
Museums We Wish Existed In London

London has a plethora of museums (over 250 at a rough count), so you may think us mad for desiring a few more. But these, we reckon, are a must.

Tribute's to Bowie in Brixton. Photo: Paul Wright

David Bowie museum

The V&A's David Bowie exhibition in 2013, was rock 'n' roll memorabilia taken to Major Tom new heights. Now Bowie's gone into the next world, it's time to give London's starriest son his own museum. Ideally we'd just want a permanent version of the previous exhibition — with an added section on his London life. Let's build it in Brixton. Or an abandoned observatory — that'd be cool.

Museum of London Food

It's tough keeping up with London's current food trends, let alone catching up with its old ones. What we need is a museum dedicated to charting London's culinary delicacies. Walking around different period zones, you'd go from scoffing street oysters and medieval London wine, to the first ever London curry, and Lord Mayor's Trifle. Special guests like olde coffee expert Dr Matthew Green could put on special talks. Seriously, who's up for making this happen?

Balthazar Boulangerie's Chelsea Buns

Museum of the Future

This museum would fulfil two separate roles. One part of the museum would display where our best and brightest minds make predictions about what the future holds in store for London. The second part would look to the past, or at least past futures. It'd display predictions such as Joseph Darby's newspaper piece from 1900, in which he foresaw sushi and skyscrapers. There would be an exhibition on alternate Londons: unfinished plans that would have radically altered the city we know today.

Model London

So this one's stolen pretty shamelessly from Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, but only because that place is incredible. All we're asking for here is an entire working model of London. There could even be a section under the city, where you look up and see tubes whizz above your head. And, just like the real London, it'd constantly be updated — keeping punters coming back for more.

Museum of Immigration

OK so this one does already exist in the form of 19 Princelet Street. Fascinating though that place is, it has one big drawback; it's hardly ever open (and it's rather small). A third of the people who live here today were born abroad, they've had a massive impact on the city and this should be covered in a blockbuster-size building. The stories and lessons are infinite, and so too will be the scope for exhibitions.

Virtual reality tour of London's past

Virtual reality is bigger than ever, and it's time London properly harnessed it. We envision a world where you put on a pair of goggles and step into Londons from centuries ago. Imagine the joys/horrors of walking through a Victorian vinegar factory or a medieval Tower of London — running into the ghosts of London past. Maybe they could even have a simulation of the Great Fire for those looking for a thrill. Although, to be fair, The London Dungeon got there first with that one.

Hand drawn map by Cally Lathey. Click here to make bigger.

Museum of London Maps

We throw a lot of maps of London at our readership. And you guys lap them up. Wouldn't it be great to get some of these blown up properly big, made properly interactive, and put in a museum? In an ironic twist, the museum would be so mazy, you'd need a map to navigate it.

Museum of Lost Industries

London used to be a vital heart of industrial Europe. Many of those industries have shrivelled away, with the old warehouses redeveloped into (more often than not) luxury flats. A museum remembering these crafts would be amazing. Whizzing you through sections on everything from piano to biscuit to tobacco manufacture — by its very design, it'd bring back some of these lost London industries. Which begs the question: would they be lost anymore?

Museum of Gentrification

London's changed undeniably over the past 20 years. Areas that people were afraid to step outside in after dark, now have the trendiest nighttime scenes in the city. It's a subject that rouses strong opinions on both sides of the debate and these should be represented.

Because work of such quality needs to be documented. Photo: Steve Reed

Gallery of Doodles

You're on a phone-call and the person on the other end of the line is yakking on. You've got a piece of paper and pen in front of you, so you do as any normal person would, and go for a cheeky scribble. Sometimes you'll draw over the newspaper or maybe you'll be starting from scratch. With all the creative minds in London, these priceless artworks could be collected into a fabulous gallery, with bigger works from everyone from Stik to charcoal/newspaper artist Liz Atkin.

Perhaps their opening exhibition could focus on one of the great questions that society is yet to answer: why are 13-year-old schoolboys obsessed with drawing penises on each other's work?

What London museum would you most like to see? Tell us in the comments.

Last Updated 08 December 2016