London Architecture

The British Museum

Formerly known as Montagu House
London, England WC1
Basic Information
Designed by Robert Hooke
Type Museum
Neighborhood: Bloomsbury
More Information
  • At the time of its completion, the Great Court was the largest covered public square in Europe.
  • The Great Court cost £100,000,000.00.
  • The roof of the Great Court weighs 793 metric tons.
  • 1676: Montagu House is built.
  • 1686: Montagu House is damaged by fire.
  • 1754: Montagu House is purchased to house the British Museum.
  • 1804-1808: The Townley Gallery, designed by George Saunders, is built.
  • 1842-1846: The Townley Gallery is demolished.
  • 1852: The Townley Gallery is replaced by the Smirke Building, designed by Sir Robert Smirke.
  • 1854-1857: The Reading Room is built. It is designed by Sydney Smirke, younger brother of Robert Smirke.
  • 1882-1885: The White Wing is constructed. It is designed by Sir John Taylor.
  • 1907-1914: King Edward VII's Galleries are built; designed by Sir John Burnet.
  • 1931-1939: A gallery is built to house the Elgin Marbles.
  • 1962: The gallery housing the Elgin Marbles opens.
  • 1975-1978: The New Wing is built. It is designed by Sir Colin Saint John Wilson.
  • 1980: The New Wing opens.
  • 1998-2000: The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court is built. It is designed by Lord Norman Foster.
  • 7 December, 2000: The Great Court officially opens.