Wandsworth Museum to move to new premises

Wandsworth Museum is intending to move later this year to new premises, in order to improve the Museum’s accessibility to visitors and maximise its funding to best serve the community.

As a result, the Museum closed to the public temporarily from 28 June, and will reopen as soon as possible after the move is complete. The Museum’s flagship programme of formal learning workshops for schools will continue until mid-July and restart in the new location from September. The Museum’s Trustees are in talks with local organisations about the relocation and further details will be released in due course.

The Museum Trustees believe that premises closer to one of the borough’s many busy shopping areas and transport hubs would now make a better location for continuing to further raise visitor numbers, as well as providing the basis for development of enhanced Museum services in the future. Wandsworth Council (which owns the Museum’s collection) and the Friends of Wandsworth Museum Committee are supportive of the relocation.


Family Learning

Wandsworth Museum holds regular activities and events for families with children of different ages, from fortnightly Early Years workshops to school holiday activities. We try to make our family programme as creative, informative and fun as possible, running workshops on a variety of topics linked to the Museum’s collection. This year we’ve hosted sessions on the Victorians and the Romans, run art-based workshops about printing and photography, and got messy with sand, herbal concoctions and soil in our garden!

For more information about our upcoming events, check our What’s On page or contact the Learning Team on 020 8870 6060 or bookings@wandsworthmuseum.co.uk.

Thursday 18th April 2013 - Fundraising Event


We were delighted to have our lunchtime fundraising event attended by so many guests and to have the event catered by Putney Tandoori. the event raised over £1,000 towards our work. Introduced by Neil Couzens, Director of Wandsworth Museum, guest speakers included Genevieve Muinzer and Lady Vaizey.

Private View: 

Home, My Place in the World

4 May – 14 September 2013

Photographs from the Private View Event 9th May 2013.


Corporate Support

Wandsworth Museum offers outstanding marketing, sponsorship and philanthropic opportunities to corporate partners, sponsors and donors.  Opportunities exist at all levels: companies can support a large or small-scale exhibition, a season of education activities for children, young people and families or other areas of interest such as the collections and conservation.

For more information on building a partnership with Wandsworth Museum, contact the Museum Director on 020 8870 6060.

 Battersea Power Station Print

Print on Demand

We can now offer prints of a wide selection of the museum’s favourite oil and water colour paintings in a range of sizes, both framed and unframed.

Click here to print on demand!

Keep it Clean!

A Grubby History of Wandsworth and London

Until 28 June 2014

Just how dirty were the Tudors?

Which disease washed down the Thames and killed thousands of Londoners in the 1830s?

How much rubbish does Wandsworth generate every second?

Discover the answers to these grimy questions about how our ancestors kept themselves and their homes clean! Wandsworth Museum’s exhibition highlights the fascinating history of sanitation and hygiene in Wandsworth and the wider London area.

Find out about personal hygiene from the Roman era to the 20th century, the stench and smog of industry, the Great Stink of 1858 and how people bathed en masse at Wandsworth’s public baths.

An exhibition for all ages!

Open Tuesdays to Fridays 11.00-16.00 & Saturdays 11.00-17.00 (Closed Sundays, Mondays & Bank Holidays)



We have a dedicated team of fantastic volunteers who cover a range of roles at Wandsworth Museum, include meeting and greeting the public, supporting learning events and collections management.

If you would like to find out about volunteering at Wandsworth Museum please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Christina Dawson by emailing dawsonjv@tiscali.com

Volunteer application 2013







Support Us… Friends of Wandsworth Museum


Friends of Wandsworth Museum

Friends of Wandsworth Museum


The Friends of Wandsworth Museum (registered charity number 1124754) was founded in 2007 and is an active and vibrant part of the Museum, bringing people together who share a common interest in supporting the Museum and the social and human heritage of Wandsworth and its surrounding areas.

By becoming a Friend, not only does your membership gives you a variety of benefits to enjoy at the Museum, but you are helping to support a much-needed historic, educational and local resource for everyone to enjoy.


Annual Friends Membership

Individuals: £10.00

Family: £20.00



Your membership offers a variety of benefits including:

  • Free entry to the Museum* 
  • Discount (10%) on purchases in the Museum shop and café*
  • Concessionary rate for admission into the De Morgan Centre*
  • Invitations to Friends previews of temporary exhibitions
  • A variety of social events such as: quiz nights, coffee mornings, and outings to other museums and places of interest.
  • A regular newsletter to keep you informed about the Friends and the Museum
  • *Until 28 June 2014, after which the Museum temporarily closes to the public in order to relocate.


Activities / Get Involved

The Friends are playing an increasingly important part in the life of the Museum, with members getting involved in a range of events, activities and volunteering opportunities. If you would like to be more involved in the work of the Museum, contact the Membership Secretary for more information.



Whether donations are large or small, The Friends of Wandsworth Museum have already made considerable donations to the Museum:

  • £5,000 for the re-enactment of Beatrix Potter School’s wartime evacuation
  • £1,000 for the purchase of an 18th century gold mourning ring
  • £450 for a medieval brooch
  • A variety of collections management and learning equipment.


If you would like to be involved in fundraising or would like to make a donation to the Museum, please contact the Museum’s Director on 020 8870 6060.


Contact the Friends

Caroline Whitehead, Membership Secretary, c/o Wandsworth Museum, 38 West Hill, London, SW18 1RZ.

e-mail:  wandsworthmuseumgroup@hotmail.co.uk



Sheila Allen (Chair)
Lyn Clark (Vice Chair)
Jonathan Callaway (Treasurer)
Christina Dawson (Secretary)
Caroline Whitehead (Membership Secretary)
Wendy Cater
Prue Raper


Membership Form



Archive of Newsletters

Issue No 25 September 2013

Issue 24. July 2013

Issue 23. May 2013

Issue 22. February 2013

Issue 21. October 2012

Issue 20. June 2012

Issue 19. March 2012

Issue 18. December 2011

Issue 17. September 2011

Issue 16. April 2011

Issue 15. January 2011

Issue 14. November 2010

Issue 13. September 2010

Issue 12. June 2010

Issue 11. May 2010

Issue 10. March 2010

Issue 9. November 2009

Issue 8. September 2009

Issue 7. June 2009

Issue 6. February 2009

Issue 5. December 2008

Issue 4. September 2008

Issue 3. April 2008

Issue 2. January 2008

Issue 1. November 2007


Support Us… Conservation

From the earlist settlements in rural and riverside London to the energetic suburb of today, Wandsworth has experienced its share of history’s turmoil.  The Borough has provided a home, and often a sanctuary, for people from all-over the world.

Their skills and talents helped to establish the area as a hub for crafts and arts, commerce and industry, prosperity and progress. Heavy-industry made way, over time, for the many suburbs that make up the modern Borough. The railway, roads and river, and the sounds of new development, provide the accompaniment to the continuing narrative of Wandsworth life and the many rich layers to London-life that the borough has and continues to provide.

The Museum is home to a magnificent collection of 100 oil-paintings, 300 watercolour paintings and over 10,000 general objects, from the prehistoric to the modern.

Social history is a key component of the objects entrusted to the care of the Museum. Many of the local objects serve as a powerful illustration of the real lives spent in factories, homes and workshops from a capital city with global significance. These artefacts are especially important for engaging the interest of schoolchildren as well as informal learners, researchers, writers, visitors and our online community.

Through your support we will be able to maintain and preserve our collections for future generations and continue to provide a local perspective on the nation’s Capital.

Your support could make a difference:

  • A donation of £8 would provide 5 archival pockets to preserve documents and loose pages of art, sketches or drawings.
  • A donation of £16 would provide acid-free archive boxes to preserve up to 30 items in our Collections.
  • A donation of £48 would pay for a day’s archiving and updating of the Collections onto a database for external research into the objects.


If you are considering making a larger donation to the Museum, do get in touch as your support might be able to help us achieve some of our many goals, including:

  • computer-terminals for research, learning, or education use: £5,000
  • conservation-grade scanner for the archiving of our artefacts onto our database: £10,000
  • creation of a Collections room for conservation and preservation of some of our more delicate objects: £10,000







Support Us… Exhibitions

Temporary Exhibitions

The Museum holds several temporary exhibitions throughout the year for which a variety of sponsorship opportunities are available.

Our most recent exhibitions have included:

February – April 2013.  Modern Masters In Print – a V&A touring exhibition featuring the works of Matisse, Warhol, Picasso and Dali.

May – September 2013. Home: My Place In The World – a contemporary photography exhibition themed around individuals’ perspectives on what ‘home’ means.

September 2013 - June 2014.  Keep It Clean! A Grubby History of Wandsworth - a look at the industry of cleaning and cleanliness using a variety of objects and information from the Museum’s Collections: mangles, washing machines, vacuums, irons, plus many other items and how they relate to the advent of gas and electric power and its impact on the domestic and commercial sanitation and hygiene.

Support Us… Learning and Public Engagement

At the heart of Wandsworth Museum’s mission is our need to inspire and engage future generations by helping them to understand the story of the Borough and to care about it.  The museum’s vision for the future is to be an exciting, successful and sustainable local museum with education as the focus for its activity.  With its magnificent collection of paintings and over 10,000 objects, the Museum is a powerful learning resource for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The Museum receives no public subsidy or grants and depends upon charitable funding and the support of a number of local individuals and organisations in order to continue its Learning and Public Engagement programmes.

Your support makes a difference:

  • A donation of £3 covers the costs of delivering our workshop programme for a single young person or adult.
  • A donation of £25 provides us with the materials and tools to run a workshop.
  • A donation of £45 creates the opportunity for a group of up to 15 children to take part in a morning or afternoon workshop session.

If you are considering a larger gift:

  • A donation of £1,000 allows us to buy the specialist preservation materials to conserve at least 15 paper-based art objects in the Collections.
  • A donation of £5,000 – £10,000 enables us to bring one new temporary exhibition of major significance into the Museum each year. Our most recent was the V&A’s Modern Masters In Print exhibition featuring the works of Pablo Picasso, Henri Mattise, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.
  • A donation of £9,000 would create up to 3,000 workshop places for children and young people to attend who might not otherwise be able to attend due to social or economic circumstances.
  • A donation of £29,795 would fund a whole academic year’s Learning and Public Engagement activity programme, providing access and outreach of the Museum’s resources for over 170 Primary and Secondary schools and up to 5,000 children and young people, as well as up to 1,000 adult learners as part of our work.




Adult Learning

For museum talks, heritage walks and other after-hours events, please look at our Whats On page.

Reminiscence Object Handling Sessions

These sessions can cover themes such as

  • The home
  • Childhood
  • Leisure/past-times
  • School

To find out more, please contact bookings@wandsworthmuseum.co.uk . Directed reminiscence object handling sessions can be booked as in-house or outreach sessions.

Visitors with Additional Needs

Our access programme includes activities for adults with learning disabilities or blind or partially sighted people.

We offer multi-sensory workshops, object handling sessions and craft activities. To find out more, please contact bookings@wandsworthmuseum.co.uk


ESOL provision

The museum offers a great language experience for all ESOL learners from Entry 1 – Level 2. Workshops can be tailored to include different ESOL Curriculum topics such daily life, now and then (technology), food and culture etc. To find out more, please contact bookings@wandsworthmusuem.co.uk








School Workshops

Wandsworth Museum offers a wide range of workshops for school groups from Foundations Stage to KS4. Our Learning Team delivers unique and imaginative in-house and outreach sessions on topics such as toys, the Romans, our local environment and the suffrage movement, using object handling, storytelling, map exploration and costumed role-play to bring the Borough’s past to life. Click on the links below to view our Primary and Secondary Programmes or scroll down to view individual sessions.

Primary Programme 2013-14

Secondary Programme 2013-14

If you are interested in booking a workshop for your pupils, please download and fill out a booking form and return in to bookings@wandsworthmuseum.co.uk. Alternatively you can contact the education team on 0208 870 6060.

Booking Form In House 2013-14

Booking Form Outreach 2013-14


All sessions are priced at £90 plus VAT. Outreach session are priced at £90 plus VAT and travel expenses.

Cancellation policy

The Museum aims to be as accommodating as possible with education group bookings. However, because of the high level of demand, we reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee (of up to 50% of the workshop fee) for bookings cancelled less than 14 days before the visit.

Our 2013/14 Schools’ Programme is outlined below. Most of our workshops can be offered as outreach sessions. If you would prefer to have your workshop in the classroom, please get in touch on 0208 870 6060.

Primary Stages

People Who Help Us – Past and Present

FS – KS1

Pupils will take part in an interactive story and discover that the people who help and protect us today have been an important part of our community for over 100 years.

Curriculum Content: Literacy; understanding the world; expressive arts and design.

Duration: 1 hour


*NEW* Ready, Steady, Dough!

FS – KS1

Pupils will make their own playdough and use it to explore materials, colour and shape in this science-based workshop. They will create secondary colours from primary and reinforce their knowledge of 2D and 3D shapes as they manipulate this versatile material.

Curriculum Content: Materials; primary and secondary colours; 2D and 3D shapes; expressive arts and design.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

N.B. This session cannot be delivered as outreach.



FS – KS1

An opportunity to learn through play, this session allows pupils to enjoy a range of different toys and think about how toys work, the materials they are made of and the differences between toys today and in the past.

Curriculum Content: Toys from the past; recycled toys and toys from other countries; materials; forces and movement.

Duration: 1 hour 15 mins


*NEW* Victorian Home Life


Pupils will discover how the laundry was done in a Victorian household in this interactive session. Using real and replica artefacts, they will explore the differences between home life then and now, developing their understanding of the past.

Curriculum Content: Homes in the past; differences between the past and present; learning from a variety of sources (artefacts)

Duration: 1 hour

N.B. This session cannot be delivered as outreach.


Village Inventors

KS1 – KS2

This session blends local history and geography with art to form a session based around map skills. Your pupils will investigate large child friendly maps of the local area spanning 250 years, listen to true stories from the past and go on to create their own map of the future.

Curriculum Links: Geography; History and Local Studies; Art and Design.

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins

N.B. This session cannot be delivered as outreach


Mapping the Centuries


Pupils will reinforce and further develop their mapping skills as they investigate large floor maps from 1760, 1880 and the present day. They will use a grid referencing system to discover some of the major features of our local area and populate the map with stories of weird and wonderful things that have happened here.

Curriculum Content: Geography; History and Local Studies

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins

N.B. This session cannot be delivered as outreach.


*NEW* Museum Explorers


Take a tour of Wandsworth Museum and discover why museums are perfect places for exploring the past. Pupils will go behind the scenes at the Museum and curate their own mini exhibition using artefacts from our collection.

Curriculum Content: History: Chronological Understanding, Interpretation, Enquiry

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins


Bags of Time


( Roman / Tudor / Victorian / World War II /Mystery)

In small groups, your pupils will explore life in the past by discovering a piece of luggage lost in Wandsworth. They will rely on their investigation skills to decide which Wandsworth resident has lost their luggage and use supporting sources to develop their character and the wider context of their life.

Curriculum Links: History: Chronological Understanding, Interpretation, Enquiry

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins



Secondary Stages

Bags of Time: WWII    


Students will explore life in 1940s Wandsworth by discovering a piece of lost luggage and using their investigative skills to examine the artefacts inside. With the help of supporting sources they will develop an understanding of the suitcase’s owner and the context of their life, and go on to create a role-play or presentation about their experience of war.

Curriculum Links: History: Chronological Understanding,Interpretation, Enquiry, Organisation and Communication; Local History Study, WWII.

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins


Wandsworth Settlers 


From pre-history onwards, settlers from around the globe have arrived in Wandsworth and made it their home. Pupils will explore our local history by discovering a piece of luggage lost by a Wandsworth resident, someone who arrived and settled here in the past. Objects and supporting sources will be used to help investigate the push and pull factors that lead to this decision and as a group we will examine the importance of immigration and cultural diversity in the shaping of the Wandsworth we know today.

Curriculum Links: History: Chronological Understanding, Interpretation, Enquiry, Organisation and Communication; Local History Study; Citizenship

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins


Bags of Time: Mystery


Pupils will explore life in various periods of Wandsworth’s past, challenging their chronological understanding. They will share a piece of luggage lost in Wandsworth in small groups and must rely on their investigation skills to discover who and when the luggage was lost. With the help of supporting sources they will develop their character and their understanding of the context of their life.

Curriculum Links: History: Chronological Understanding,Interpretation, Enquiry, Organisation and Communication; Local History Study, Roman Britain, Victorian Britain, WWII.

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins


Suffragette Drama Performance


This interactive drama features an actor playing the role of Charlotte Despard, a militant Suffragette campaigner who lived in Wandsworth in the early 20th century. Charlotte tells of her experience of the changing status of women as well as her reasons for wanting the vote. Later imprisoned for her Suffragette activities, the performance dramatises the events leading up to her arrest. Students will get the opportunity to question Charlotte and discuss the Suffrage Movement in detail.

This session was developed under the Museum of London Renaissance Advisory Scheme with consultancy advice from the NCCL.

Curriculum links: KS3 History: The development of political power from the middle ages to the 20th century, Campaigns for Civil Rights-Women, The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain sinc 1900. KS3 Citizenship: Democracy and justice

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins


Suffragette Mock Trial


After hearing about the life of Charlotte Despard and her  imprisonment for her campaign activities, students will re-enact her trial, taking on the roles of witnesses, barristers, judge and jury in our courtroom space . The trial is made real to students by use of archival material from Charlotte’s suffrage campaign. This mock trial highlights how the legal system operates, the importance of voting and how both men and women campaigned to be allowed play an active part in democratic and electoral processes.

This session was developed under the Museum of London Renaissance Advisory Scheme with consultancy advice from the NCCL.

Curriculum links: KS3 History: The development of political power from the middle ages to the 20th century, Campaigns for Civil Rights-Women, The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain sinc 1900. KS3 Citizenship: Democracy and justice

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins

*The Suffragette Performance and Mock Trial may be booked separately, but work best as an all day package*


*NEW* World War One Study Days

KS3 – KS4

Communicating War

Students will examine their knowledge of the WWI in the wider context of historical evidence and interpretation. Using a range of Museum artefacts and archive material, they will develop their source-handling skills to create their own interpretations of wartime events and critique others’ interpretations.

Your Country Needs You – Recruitment and Conscription

This session explores changing attitudes to fighting from a chronological perspective and, using genuine local case studies, challenges students to step inside the shoes of real men as they enlisted, were conscripted or fought to stay at home.

Women at War

Using museum artefacts and archive material, students will discover what life was like for women in Wandsworth during the First World War. They will delve into the lives of local bus ‘conductorettes’ and ammunition factory workers ‘doing their bit’, and wives and mothers faced with the challenges of life on the home front. Students will also explore women’s lives in a wider context, looking at local suffrage campaigns before and during the war, and questioning the extent to which WWI changed women’s lives.

*Available from January 2014. Created in partnership with Wandsworth Heritage Service*

About Wandsworth Museum…

The Museum temporarily closes after 28 June 2014 in order to relocate to a new site in the borough.

The Museum’s aim is to be an exciting, successful, independent and sustainable Museum with education as the focus for its activities. It looks after Wandsworth Council’s collection of historic local artefacts, which includes 300 watercolour paintings and 100 oil paintings, all either featuring local views or painted by local artists.  The core of the collection is a huge array of household and workplace items, furniture and appliances, together comprising a rich resource of suburban London social history between approximately 1850 and 1950.

Wandsworth Museum is a registered charity (No. 1126383).

Current Vacancies

There are no vacancies at the Museum at the present time.

Browse our Oil Paintings Collection on BBC Your Paintings

Museum of London The Museum of London tells the story of London and its people. It cares for more than two million objects in its collections and attracts over 400,000 visitors per year.

Wandsworth Historical Society  The Wandsworth Historical Society aims to promote an interest in the history and archaeology of the Borough of Wandsworth.

The Big Draw is the world’s biggest celebration of drawing. It has grown into a month-long festival running throughout October all over the UK. Every year more people across the world join in Big Draw events and engage in creative activities.

Permanent Exhibitions

The Wandsworth Region – 25,000 years of time

The history of the Wandsworth region can be viewed as a tapestry held together with three distinct “threads”, each interweaving with the others to create a unique story spanning 25,000 years.  These threads are the Natural Landscape, the Cultural Landscape and the Human Story, and are depicted in our permanent gallery illustrated by objects from our rich collections.

The Natural Landscape tells the story of the shaping of the land, the environment and the ecology of the region.  The natural history of Wandsworth, its landscape, plants and animals have transformed from a grassy permafrost-filled landscape visited by the ice-age animals to pine and birch forests and finally to a series of mixed forests, heathlands and river valleys in the past 25,000 years.

The Cultural Landscape tells the story of how the hand of humanity has modified the terrain, above and below, in the region.  Human activity has modified and changed the landscape of the Wandsworth region over the past 6,000 years.  Human activity has transformed our world – buildings, roads, river cuts, tunnels and bridges have changed the very nature of the landscape of the region.

The Human Story is the rich and detailed record of the people who have lived and passed through Wandsworth.  Humans started to create permanent settlements as far back as 6,000 years ago.  They were attracted to the area by its landscape, rivers and rich resources.  Since early times people from around the world have come to Wandsworth to find a new home and have left their mark on the heart of this place.