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The Horniman family’s former London Road residence became known as the Surrey House Museum and was freely opened to the general public on 24 December 1890.
The museum was initially open every Wednesday and Saturday from 2pm until 9pm and on bank holidays from 10am to 9pm.
Horniman Museum and Gardens, 1912In storage
The old museum was closed on 29 January 1898 and demolished in May of that year.
Architect Charles Harrison Townsend was commissioned to design the new museum, which formally opened to the public on 29 June 1901.
Entrance to Horniman Museum and Gardens, London Road
Here's what our main London Road gate looked like not long after the Horniman Museum and Gardens opened in 1901.
Forest Hill postcardIn storage
Postcard from the early 1900s showing London Road, Forest Hill featuring the clock tower at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
Natural History Gallery, early 1900sIn storage
This photograph shows our Natural History Gallery, as it was displayed out up to 1904.
Although not immediately obvious from the photograph, our famous Walrus is on display in one of the cases in the centre of the gallery.
South Hall Gallery, early 1900sIn storage
This photograph shows our South Hall Gallery in the early 1900s.
This gallery is now temporarily closed as we are developing a new World Gallery.
Figure RoomIn storage
In the early 1900s, the Figure Room displayed life-size and minature models representing various types and styles of national dress and jewellery.
Lecture demonstration, 1930sIn storage
Although this photograph dates from 1936, lectures, talks and demonstrations have always been at the heart of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, with a mission to use our worldwide collections and the Gardens to encourage a wider appreciation of the World, its peoples and their cultures, and its environments.
Bandstand and Terrace, early 1900s
Our bandstand, designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, dates from the early 1900s.
In 2012, it was renovated with new floorboards and its original weather vane was restored. Screens which blocked the windows for decades were replaced with glass, giving wonderful views over London.
Boating pond, early 1900s
Our Gardens were once home to a boating pond, as seen in this photograph.
In the background, a railway line can be seen, the Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway. This is no longer used as a railway, and is now home to our Nature Trail.