Hackney Museum

Free

Explore the diverse heritage of London’s East End at the Hackney Museum, which provides an intimate look into the borough’s history, spotlighting the lives and narratives of its residents over time. The museum has permanent displays and temporary exhibitions providing insights into Hackney’s ongoing transformation.

Hackney Museum is just off Mare Street in a building shared with a public library. (Photo: Tarquin Binary [CC BY-SA 2.5])
Hackney Museum is just off Mare Street in a building shared with a public library. (Photo: Tarquin Binary [CC BY-SA 2.5])

What to see at the Hackney Museum

The Hackney Museum offers an intimate insight into the social and cultural heritage of the London Borough of Hackney.

The museum’s permanent collection is centred on the lives of the borough’s inhabitants, covering themes such as immigration, local businesses and community experiences. Visitors can see Victorian-era toys and games alongside exhibits showcasing the contributions of refugee businesses to Hackney’s economy.

With a strong emphasis on community involvement, local residents often contribute stories and objects to museum displays, providing a personal perspective on Hackney’s history. This collaborative approach ensures the museum reflects the diverse voices and experiences of the borough.

Temporary exhibitions at the Hackney Museum

In addition to its permanent displays, the Hackney Museum also hosts a programme of temporary exhibitions. Current and planned exhibitions include:

At Home in Hackney: A community photographed 1970–today
The At Home in Hackney exhibition (until 15 June 2024) showcases five decades of Hackney life, from 1970s activism to the current party scene. Featuring works by photographers such as Tom Hunter, Hackney Flashers, Neil Martinson and Dennis Morris, the exhibition offers insight into the celebrations, disruptions, and everyday lives of Hackney residents.

Visiting the Hackney Museum

The Hackney Museum is just off Mare Street in the centre of Hackney, next to Hackney Town Hall in a building shared with a public library.

It is easily accessible by public transport with Hackney Central and London Fields railway stations (both served by the Overground) only a six-minute walk away and bus routes 30, 55, 106, 236, 254, 276, 277 and 394 stopping outside.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday (closed on Mondays and Sundays) and admission is free of charge.

Although the museum doesn’t have a cafe, its location in the centre of Hackney means that there are plenty of options for eating and drinking nearby.

It is a relatively small museum so an hour should be sufficient time for a visit.

Amenities
  • Wheelchair access
  • Gift shop

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