Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of THE BRITISH MUSEUM
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Camden (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 30054 81721



TQ3081NW GREAT RUSSELL STREET 798-1/100/697 (North side) 24/10/51 The British Museum


Museum. 1823-47. By Sir Robert Smirke with later additions. Portland stone. Planned as a big quadrangle with open courtyard extending north from Montague House (the original museum, demolished c1840). 2 main storeys in Greek Revival style. Built in stages. East Wing 1823-26: built to house George IV's library and Angerstein pictures (later basis of National Gallery). An early use of iron beams clad in concrete by engineer John Rastrick. Fine Grecian detail to interior with scagliola walls. West Wing 1831-4: built to house antiquities. Redecorated to Smirke's original colour scheme 1980. North Wing 1833-8: built to house antiquities. South Range 1842-7: built as the principal facade following the demolition of Montague House. 7-bay centre linked to projecting wings. Ionic octastyle portico with sculptured pediment projecting from a massive colonnade running around the wings. Ionic order from the temple of Athene Polias, Priene. Pediment sculpture depicts the "Progress of Civilisation" by Westmacott. Fine interior with grand central staircase. Round Reading Room 1852-7: by Sydney Smirke. Erected to fill the open quadrangle, with domed cast-iron roof. HISTORICAL NOTE: the museum expanded north during the C19, the last main addition being the King Edward VII Gallery (qv), 1914, facing Montague Place. Some of the galleries were damaged during World War II and have been remodelled for display purposes.

Listing NGR: TQ3005981712


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 18 Aug 2004
Reference: IOE01/12856/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David March. Source Historic England Archive
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