Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is a multi-branch national museum of war and wartime life from 1914 to the present day. It is the museum of everyone’s story: the history of modern war and people’s experience of war and wartime life in Britain and the Commonwealth. It is an educational and historical institution responsible for archives, collections and sites of outstanding national importance.




Highlights of the museum

Secret War

The Secret War exhibition reveals the clandestine world of espionage, covert operations, and the work of Britain's special forces. It shows how Britain's secret government agencies, MI5 and MI6, have developed since their establishment before the First World War, and how specialist communications technology has been used to gather intelligence and break top-secret codes.


First World War Galleries

The causes of the First World War were complex and are the subject of continuing historical debate. These galleries explore the shift in the balance of power in Europe, conflicting national ambitions, economic competition and colonial rivalries. 


Second World War Galleries

The hopes for a lasting peace after the First World War were short-lived. Totalitarian states were established in Italy after 1922 under Mussolini and in Nazi Germany, where Hitler was made Chancellor in 1933. The Second World War galleries explore the complex political developments and resulting conflicts across the globe.


The Holocaust Exhibition

This permanent exhibition uses historical material to tell the story of the Nazis' persecution of the Jews and other groups before and during the Second World War. Photographs, documents, newspapers, artefacts, posters and film offer stark evidence of persecution and slaughter, collaboration and resistance. 


Crimes against humanity: an exploration of genocide and ethnic violence

A specially-commissioned 30-minute film is the central element of the Crimes against humanity exhibition which examines the theme of genocide and ethnic conflict - looking at some of the common features shared by the horrendous bloodshed in Armenia, Nazi-occupied Europe, Cambodia, East Timor, Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere. 


Good to know:

  • Admission is free however special exhibitions may charge a fee.
  • The Museum has a wide range of drop-in activities for families at weekends and school holidays, which are designed to suit a range of abilities.


Venue hire

Situated within close proximity of both Westminster and the City, this Grade II listed building with its dramatic and contemporary glass-roofed main atrium provides a stunning and dramatic backdrop to a variety of events. 


The versatile main atrium has played host to client receptions, charity balls and gala dinners, film premieres, fashion shows and product launches. This is one of the only spaces in London with the capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 guests for a reception. 


Daytime meetings, conferences and away days can be accommodated in the four meeting spaces, which include a fully equipped cinema, conference room and two more traditional Georgian boardrooms. 


The Museum's striking temporary exhibitions and award-winning permanent displays add a fascinating element to any event, providing guests and delegates with a stunning backdrop and talking point for a wide variety of both day and evening events. The exhibits in the main gallery include a rare and unique Battle of Britain Spitfire; Montgomery's tank; the smallest boat used at Dunkirk; and 'Old Bill', a London bus that once transported troops on the Western Front during the First World War.


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