Imperial War Museum

Category: Museums and libraries

The original location of the Imperial War Museum was the Crystal Palace, located atop Sydenham Hill. The Museum was founded there in 1917 to commemorate those who had died in World War I. When that building burned down on November 30, 1936, a new location had to be found, and a building in Lambeth was settled on.

That building, designed by Sydney Smirke, had originally been a psychiatric hospital, Bethlem Royal Hospital, located in St. George’s Fields. It faces Lambeth Road. Outside the main entrance of the museum are mounted two 15″ naval guns from former Royal Navy warships. The left-hand gun was mounted in HMS Ramillies, a Revenge-class battleship, from 1916 to 1941. The right-hand gun was mounted in another Revenge-class battleship, HMS Resolution, from 1915 to 1938, and then in the monitor HMS Roberts, where it took part in the D-Day bombardments.


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