Horniman Museum and Gardens in London

Show Map

The Horniman Museum is a museum in Forest Hill, South London, England. Commissioned in 1898, it opened in 1901 and was designed by Charles Harrison Townsend in the Arts and Crafts style.

The Horniman Museum is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is constituted as a company and registered charity under English law.


The museum was founded by Victorian tea trader Frederick John Horniman and contained his collection of natural history, cultural artefacts and musical instruments.

In 1911 an additional building to the west of the main building, originally containing a lecture hall and library, was donated by Frederick Horniman's son Emslie Horniman. This was also designed by Townsend. In 1999 the museum was closed for redevelopment, and it re-opened on 14 June 2002.


The Horniman specialises in anthropology, natural history and musical instruments and has a collection of 350,000 objects. The ethnography and music collections have Designated status. One of its most famous exhibits is the large collection of stuffed animals. It also has an aquarium noted for its unique layout.

Floor Directory

1st Floor Ground Floor Lower Ground Floor Basement Floor
Access from Lower Ground Floor only
Under 5s Book Zone
Natural History Balcony

Horniman Highlight Objects
3 Apostle Clock, England
Main Entrance
CUE Building
Education Centre
Hands On Base
Natural History Gallery
Balcony Gallery
Environment Room
Textile Display

Horniman Highlight Objects
1 Sand Painting, America
2 Walrus, Canada
Temporary Exhibition Gallery
Music Gallery
Centenary Gallery
African Worlds Gallery
Gallery Square
Security Reception from London Road

Horniman Highlight Objects
4 French Horn, England
5 Carlton Drum Kit, England
6 Torture Chair, Unknown
7 Kali with Shiva Figure, India
8 Benin Plaques, Nigeria
9 Ijele Mask, Nigeria
10 Coffin Lid, Egypt
New Aquarium

Transport connections

Service Station/Stop Lines/Routes served Distance from
Horniman Museum
London Buses Horniman Museum 176, 185, 197, 356, P4
Homrniman Park 363 0.2 mile walk
London Overground Forest Hill East London Line 0.4 mile walk
National Rail Southern


The museum is set in 16 acres (65,000 m²) of gardens which include the following features:

  • A Grade II listed conservatory from 1894 which was moved from Horniman's family house in Croydon to the present site in the 1980s.
  • A bandstand from 1912
  • A small animal enclosure
  • A nature trail
  • An ornamental garden

Totem pole

A 20 ft red cedar totem pole stands outside the museum's main entrance. It was carved in 1985 as part of the American Arts Festival by Nathan Jackson, a Tlingit native Alaskan. The carvings on the pole depict figures from Alaskan legend of a girl who married a bear, with an eagle (Jackson's clan crest) at the top. The pole is one of only a handful of totem poles in the United Kingdom, others being on display at the British Museum, Windsor Great Park, Bushy Park, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and at Alsford's Wharf in Berkhamsted.

CUE building

The Horniman Museum contains the CUE (Centre for Understanding the Environment) building. This opened in 1996 and was designed by local architects Architype. The building has a grass roof and was constructed from sustainable materials. It also incorporates passive ventilation.

Internet Filter Problems

In 2004 the museum encountered problems receiving emails due to the modern connotations of its name confusing pornography filters.

External links

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horniman_Museum