The Florence Nightingale Museum
This museum is a delightful little place across the river from Parliament and Big Ben! A nice reprieve from the hordes of tourists taking their new facebook profile photo.
The Nightingale Museum is located in the basement of St. Thomas’ Hospital. They have very clear signage to find it which helped me loads. The hot pink accent colour really catches your eye.
Florence Nightingale is a nursing icon. She reformed nursing and gave it a respectable sheen for the upper-classes (thereby securing their support and funding for projects).
I really loved how adventurous they made the displays. Her upperclass childhood is presented in mock Hedges! IT WAS AMAZING.
Inside the hedges were little peep-holes with photos! There were tons at different heights (good for anyone on the shorter end of the spectrum.
The display presents Florence’s childhood, family and sheltered upbringing. It sets the stage for her revolt against her early life when choosing nursing over marriage. Florence felt ‘called’ to nursing.
The next section is devoted to her time in the Crimea. This is where she made her name and put to work her ideas about nursing and nursing reform. It even features one of her famous lamps! I adore the turkish tiles and bandage wrappings.
The final section details her later years spent campaigning, setting up nursing schools and her grand legacy.
Around the edges of the exhibition room are photos, videos and testimonials about modern nursing. It is a nice way to bring the museum into the current age. It shows off Florence’s legacy to its best advantage!
Pros: Great interpretation, cool displays, cohesive story, excellent special exhibition, great for kids, good for anyone with mobility issues (loads of seating), good collection, nice shop.
Cons: Slightly hard to find (but has loads of signs!), no cafe