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The British Museum

A Grade I Listed Building in Camden, London

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Latitude: 51.5195 / 51°31'10"N

Longitude: -0.1269 / 0°7'36"W

OS Eastings: 530054

OS Northings: 181722

OS Grid: TQ300817

Mapcode National: GBR H9.NH

Mapcode Global: VHGQZ.R28J

Entry Name: The British Museum

Listing Date: 24 October 1951

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1130404

English Heritage Legacy ID: 477883

Location: Camden, London, WC1E

County: London

District: Camden

Electoral Ward/Division: Bloomsbury

Built-Up Area: Camden

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Bloomsbury Way St George

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


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
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
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

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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