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The Museum of the Order of St John

166 Reviews

The Museum of the Order of St John

166 Reviews
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St John_s Gate, St John_s Lane Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4DA England
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FarringdonUnderground4 min
BarbicanUnderground5 min
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$18.96 per adult
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Don Wright wrote a review May 2020
Vancouver, Canada1,310 contributions325 helpful votes
+1
This is a quirky little museum, off the beaten track but one I was keen to visit. I became aware of the Order of St. John during a visit to Rhodes, Greece. Rhodes was once an important fortification and hospital run by the Knights Hospitaliar, who had set up there after being run out of Jerusalem by the Arabs retaking territory they lost during the Crusades. It’s a long story, but the Order of St. John was established to bring back the idea of caring for the sick and injured — which eventually morphed into the St. John Ambulance services and first aid training. The museum fills in all the details and time frames, and is located in a building once owned by the Knights Hospitaliar, but taken away from them and much later purchased to house the headquarters for the Order of St. John. Free entry, although a guided tour is available that includes a visit to the chapel - check the website for opening hours, they differ depending on the season.
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Date of experience: June 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Jason G wrote a review Mar 2020
Petts Wood, United Kingdom5 contributions
This may well not be the first time someone has used the phrase 'hidden gem' on Tripadvisor but it really sums up this lovely little museum on the edge of the City. My visit was on a day when things looked pretty grim in the outside world with corona, a crashing stockmarket and very grey overcast weather. It was a nice change, therefore, to step into a warm welcome at the Museum of the order of St John. Exploring London under one's own steam can be a bit of a double-edged sword. There are so many delightful churches, museums, galleries and other historic treasures to be discovered. Quite often, though, it seems the owners/managers of such places would really rather not have visitors traipsing round their buildings at all. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to be greeted by a smiling (!) face on reception and a clear, cheerful welcome with an unequivocal invitation to look around at my leisure 'free of charge'. The museum itself was no less interesting - it's laid out really well in a logical order with lots of historic artefacts and narrative supporting the St John storyline. They are clearly geared up for a wide range of visitors, with facilities for everyone from schoolchildren to the elderly. There are even fold-out canvas seats available for those who want or need to sit for a while and ponder! All in all, a great, compact, visitor-friendly museum which I highly recommend.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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M G wrote a review Mar 2020
Arlington, Virginia73 contributions80 helpful votes
This is a museum dedicated to what was once a medieval knightly order but is now a charitable organization. The ground level rooms in St John’s Gate include artifacts and displays describing the long history of the order. This is a well-curated, informative exhibit. (These rooms also have a painting by Caravaggio.) We opted to take the tour, and this allowed us to visit the upstairs rooms, where the guide showed us a number of historic rooms and described the varied history of the building, including a stint as a club where you could only speak Latin! From there, we left the Gate and walked north for about a block to visit the Priory Church and crypt. The tour lasted for more than an hour, but there were always seats available to rest your feet. During our visit there were only a handful of other guests, mainly from the UK. Our tour guide was entertaining and knew a lot about the area. Photography was allowed in St John’s Gate and the priory. I enjoyed this museum as I like medieval history and old buildings, and admission was free. If you’re unsure about a visit, I recommend checking out the museum website to see if it intrigues you.
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Date of experience: November 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Free Spirit wrote a review Feb 2020
1,623 contributions469 helpful votes
Only go if your interested or you will find it boring. This is a very small museum located in the city. It is small and free to enter. Highly recommend the free guided tour as you get to see a lot more that you cannot see otherwise. Time your visit with the tour. Check the website for details. I would suggest coming about forty five minutes early to see the other parts they don't cover on the tour. The guided tour is one hour and twenty minutes. Very punctual. Just register at reception. Staff are friendly. There is also a nice small gift / bookshop. Well laid out with good information. I learnt a lot.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Rachael C wrote a review Feb 2020
London, United Kingdom573 contributions71 helpful votes
+1
What a fabulous free museum. Nice and informative displays covering the full range of history from the Knights on Jerusalem through to their time in Rhodes and Malta, not forgetting London itself, and how the the Order moved into providing first aid training when the industrial revolution saw an increase in injuries. The museum also houses a Caravaggio painting (due his connections with the Order during his time in Malta). We took the Saturday afternoon tour (80 minutes) which was excellent - very informative and enabled us to views upstairs rooms that are usually closed and the Priory Church and its Norman crypt just across the road - well worth the suggested donation of £5. Clean toilets and a small shop too. A really enjoyable afternoon visit. Can't believe it took 20 years of living in London to get round to visiting!
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Date of experience: February 2020
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