Museums in United Kingdom

National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is one of the Top 10 UK visitor attractions, and in the Top 20 of the most visited museums and galleries in the world. The museum houses a spectacular array of over 20,000 fascinating artefacts. The National Museum incorporates the collections of the former National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, and the Royal Museum. As well as the national collections of Scottish archaeological finds ...
Founded: 1861 | Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Gallery of Modern Art

Opened in 1996, the Gallery of Modern Art is housed in a neoclassical building in Royal Exchange Square in the heart of Glasgow city centre. Built in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy Glasgow Tobacco Lord who made his fortune through the triangular slave trade, the building has undergone a series of different uses. It was bought in 1817 by the Royal Bank of Scotland who later moved onto B ...
Founded: 1778 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

McManus Gallery

The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is a Gothic Revival-style building, located in the centre of Dundee, Scotland. The building was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott, who was an expert for the restoration of mediaeval churches and advocate of the Gothic architectural style. He intended to design a large tower like in his previous work at St. Nikolai, Hamburg. The foundations were situated in a small wetlan ...
Founded: 1867 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is located in Cathedral Square, on the lands of Glasgow Cathedral off High Street. It was constructed in 1989 on the site of a medieval castle-complex, the former residence of the bishops of Glasgow, parts of which can be seen inside the Cathedral and at the People"s Palace, Glasgow. The museum building emulates the Scottish Baronial architectural style used for the forme ...
Founded: 1989 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland"s most popular visitor attractions. The museum has 22 galleries, housing a range of exhibits, including Renaissance art, taxidermy, and artifacts from ancient Egypt. The gallery is located on Argyle Street, on the banks of the River Kelvin. The construction of Kelvingrove was partly financed by the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition held in Kelvingrove ...
Founded: 1901 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Riverside Museum

The Riverside Museum is the location of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, at Pointhouse Quay in the Glasgow Harbour. The building opened in June 2011. The museum won the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award. As well as housing many of the existing collections of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, the city has acquired SAR Class 15F 4-8-2 steam locomotive, No.3007. Built by the Glasgow-based North British Locomotive Compan ...
Founded: 2011 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Provand's Lordship

The Provand"s Lordship of Glasgow is a medieval historic house museum located at the top of Castle Street. It was built as part of St Nicholas"s Hospital by Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow in 1471. A western extension, designed by William Bryson, was completed in 1670. In the early 19th century the house was occupied by a canon supported by income from the Lord of the Prebend (or 'Provand') of Barl ...
Founded: 1471 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Ulster Museum

The Ulster Museum, located in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, has around 8,000 square metres of public display space, featuring material from the collections of fine art and applied art, archaeology, ethnography, treasures from the Spanish Armada, local history, numismatics, industrial archaeology, botany, zoology and geology. It is the largest museum in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Museum was founded as ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: Belfast, United Kingdom

Jersey Museum

The Jersey Museum and Art Gallery is located in St Helier. It presents history from 250,000 years ago when the first people arrived in Jersey and continues through the centuries to explore the factors that have shaped this unique island and the people who live there. Find out why Jersey remained loyal to the English Crown despite being so close to France; listen to Jersey-French being spoken; learn about the Island"s ...
Founded: | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Shetland Museum

Set on the waterfront within a restored 19th century dock in Lerwick, Shetland Museum and Archives tells the story of Shetland’s heritage and culture. The museum chart the development of the archipelago from its earliest geological origins to the present day. Its galleries contain everything from delicate Shetland lace to Pictish art and even the first telephone introduced in the islands in 1883. Visit the renovated ...
Founded: | Location: Lerwick, United Kingdom

Auld Kirk Museum

The Auld Kirk is one of the oldest buildings in Kirkintilloch. Built in 1644 as Saint Mary"s Church, it is Category A listed. There is a full programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Most of the paintings held by the Auld Kirk Museum are of a topographical nature relating to East Dunbartonshire. Arthur Griffith was a commercial artist who painted fairy and fantasy paintings for his own pleasure. They a ...
Founded: 1644 | Location: Kirkintilloch, United Kingdom

Manx Museum

The Manx Museum is bursting with artefacts and treasures unique to the Isle of Man. The Island’s 10,000 year history is presented through film, galleries and interactive displays. The perfect starting point on your journey of discovery around our Island and its Viking and Celtic past. The museum opened in 1922, in a building that was formerly Noble"s Old Hospital. It was expanded and remodeled during 1986-89.
Founded: 1922 | Location: Douglas, United Kingdom

Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum

The Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum is a permanent exhibition of 27 carved Pictish stones in the centre of the village of Meigle in eastern Scotland. The museum occupies the former parish school, built 1844. The collection of stones implies that an important church was located nearby, or perhaps a monastery. There is an early historical record of the work of Thana, son of Dudabrach, who was at Meigle (recorded as Migdele) ...
Founded: 1936 | Location: Meigle, United Kingdom

Alderney Society Museum

Alderney Society Museum, the principal museum in Alderney, is located in the Old School House. Exhibits there fully reflect the history of the town and include a collection of rare maps, a list of British Regiments stationed in Alderney starting with 1732, old records, the 1940 Census of Alderney, finds of the Elizabethan shipwreck, and many rare artefacts. The museum is administered by the Alderney Society, which establi ...
Founded: 1966 | Location: Alderney, United Kingdom

Tangwick Haa Museum

Originally built in the late 17th century for the Cheyne family, owners of the Tangwick estate, Tangwick Haa was converted into a local history museum in the late 1980s. The Laird’s Room is furnished as it would have been in the 19th century and is filled a variety of Victorian artefacts while the Reception Room displays agricultural tools and household objects from the period. There are also historical photographs ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Shetland, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.