Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
Admission: Free
Free Entry
Wheelchair Access
Has Temporary Exhibitions
Has Permanent Collection

Opening Times

Monday: 1000 - 1800
Tuesday: 1000 - 1800
Wednesday: 1000 - 1800
Thursday: 1000 - 1800
Friday: 1000 - 1800
Saturday: 1000 - 1800
Sunday: 1000 - 1800
Closed 24-26 December
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  • Imperial War Museum
  • Imperial War Museum

Map / Location
Transport Info

Transport Info

Tube : Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo & Northern line), Lamberth North (Bakerloo line), Southwark (Jubilee line).

In 1917 the Cabinet decided that a National War Museum should be set up to collect and display material relating to the Great War, which was still being fought. The museum was named Imperial War Museum

The museum was opened in the Crystal Palace by King George V on 9 June 1920 before it was moved by in its present home.

The museum was closed to the public from September 1940 to November 1946 and vulnerable collections were evacuated to stores outside London. Most of the exhibits survived the war, but some of the naval models were damaged by the blast.

At the outset of the Second World War the Imperial War Museum's terms of reference were enlarged to cover both world wars and they were again extended in 1953 to include all military operations in which Britain or the Commonwealth have been involved since August 1914.

Today, IWM’s collections cover all aspects of twentieth and twenty-first century conflict involving Britain, the Commonwealth and other former empire countries.

Created to record the toil and sacrifice of every individual affected by war, the collections include a wide range of material, from film and oral history to works of art, large objects, and personal letters and diaries.

The Collections stretch from the everyday to the exceptional. They contain some of the most important technical, social, economic, political, personal and cultural artefacts relating to Britain and its role in twentieth-century conflict. The scale, depth, breadth and range of media – art, film photographs, sound, new media, writings and objects – contain the reactions, memories and stories of the whole of society.

© IWM modified by A drop of art

Past exhibitions at Imperial War Museum - now closed:
Architecture of War 29th Jul 2013 - 5th May 2014
Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style 5th Mar 2015 - 31st Aug 2015
Fighting Extremes: From Ebola to ISIS 18th Nov 2015 - 13th Nov 2016
IWM Contemporary: Hew Locke 19th Feb 2015 - 4th May 2015
Lee Miller: A Woman’s War 15th Oct 2015 - 24th Apr 2016
Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist 14th May 2015 - 30th May 2016
Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War 19th Jul 2014 - 8th Mar 2015