Florence Nightingale Museum


in Brixton, Peckham & South London

This small but almost perfect museum looks at the life and legacy of Florence Nightingale (1820–1910), considered the founder of modern nursing. Her story is told through memorabilia and documents – don't miss her (now stuffed) pet owl Athena and the lantern she famously carried while visiting the wards at night. Most illuminating are her letters and, highlight of the collection, a recording of her voice made in 1890, by which time she'd become one of the world’s first A-list celebrities.

Nightingale led a team of nurses to Turkey in 1854 during the Crimean War, when more soldiers were dying in the hospital than on the battlefield, and vastly improved their care. Back in London, she set up a training school for nurses at St Thomas’s Hospital (where the museum is located) in 1859.

The collection is divided into several key sections: her childhood and early life as a nurse; her work in the district of Scutari (now Üsküdar) of İstanbul; and her work at St Thomas's Hospital upon her return. An audioguide is included in the admission price. Free tours are conducted every Wednesday between 3.30pm and 4pm.