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Science City 1550–1800: The Linbury Gallery

Discover how London grew from a lively capital city to a global hub for trade, commerce, and scientific enquiry between 1550 and 1800.

In 1550, London was a hustling, bustling, rapidly expanding commercial city, with a relatively modest position on the world stage. By 1800, it was a global city and a world-leading centre of science. Science City: The Linbury Gallery tells the story of how science was integral to that transformation.

From the observation of previously unidentified planets to the identification of underlying physical principles of the universe, science itself changed, as it began to acquire characteristics that we associate with modern science today—from the carrying out of experiments to the preoccupation with precision measurement.

Drawing on three iconic scientific collections: the Science Museum Group Collection; the King George III collection owned by King’s College London; and the collection of the Royal Society, this gallery reveals how science was London’s lifeblood, but more than this, it emphasises that science was at the heart of our culture.

Covering over 650 square metres, the gallery design by Gitta Gschwendtner creates an abstract cityscape that will immerse you in a contemporary interpretation of historic London. 

Planning a school visit? Find out more information about the gallery for educational groups.

Title funder

Supported by

With additional support from

With special thanks to

The John S Cohen Foundation
Iain and Jane Bratchie