The Hackney Museum

There are a ton of fantastic historical landmarks in East London, and the Hackney Museum in Hackney is among the top. The free-to-all museum is located on the ground floor of the famous Hackney Library. It houses a collection of permanent exhibits and interactive displays that reveal the extensive and fascinating history of the area. Check out more on the museum and must-see exhibitions during your visit.

Overview of the Hackney Museum

The Hackney Museum is a community museum meaning it collects and displays exhibits relevant to the past and future of the Hackney area. Here you can learn everything about Hackney from its early years as home to Anglo Saxon settlers, a retreat for the nobility during Tudor times, to present-day Hackney. Even though all exhibits and interactive displays at the museum are interesting, some of the most notable include a Sierra Leonean sculpture of a child and the following:

The Hackney Hoard Coin

The Hackney Hoard coin on display at Hackney Museum isn’t just a regular coin. It’s one of the Double Eagle gold coins unearthed by a Hackney local from his garden. The coins had been buried by a Jewish family who, upon moving to London, were worried about the looming Nazi invasion of Britain and decided to stash their money in the garden for safekeeping. Unfortunately, the family died in the Blitz but their memory lives on at the museum thanks to the coin display.

The Chalmers Bequest

The Chalmers Bequest is a lifetime collection of paintings and art pieces by Alexander Henry Chalmer, a famous Scottish writer and once editor of the Morning Herald. Chalmer bequeathed his collection to the London Borough of Stoke Newington in the condition that the council would spend £126 of the $4000 he also left behind on its maintenance every three years. The collection featured portraits of prominent figures, paintings, and art pieces created by artists from different eras, including notable painters like John Collet.

Living in Cazenove

As the name implies, this exhibition explores Cazenove Road, north of Hackney, and demonstrates how people from different worlds can co-exist. It features a broad range of art pieces, films, and interactive installations from locals and, besides coexistence, also seeks to showcase Hackney’s incredible diversity.

Getting to the Hackney Museum

The Hackney Museum opens from Tuesday through Friday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm but stays open till eight on Thursdays. It’s a five-minute walk from Hackney Central Station, so a public commute shouldn’t be stressful. The facility is also about 15-20 minutes away from Shoreditch, making it a perfect and even better free after-tattoo activity.


1 Reading Ln, London E8 1GQ