Celebrate the First Ever London History Day

On Wednesday 31 May – the date that Big Ben first started keeping time in 1859 – London will celebrate its first ever History Day.

Organised by Historic England, 40 of the city’s museums and galleries will hold special events and rare displays on this day only.

From the treasures of the Thames to the document which granted London its rights and freedoms, family workshops to walking tours and talks, there’s no shortage of things to discover about this fair city:

Visit the Guildhall Library to see a child’s storybook that has lasted nearly 200 years.

Celebrate Black British Music at the Black Cultural Archives and learn how black British music has migrated from the sidelines to the mainstream. Get stuck into the BCA's archive collection of photographs, vinyl, cassettes, and music tracks to showcase the musical heritage of black people across the UK. Audio-guided tours will feature as part of the exhibition experience and visitors can listen to a mix of the top 100 most seminal albums from the last 100 years.

Visit the London Fire Brigade pop-up museum where you can join in the family activities and see highlights from their photographic archives. Families can make their own mini animation video, design a fire-mark and make their own fire engine greeting card. Drop in between 10am and 4pm - no need to book.

Join archaeologists at Museum of London Archaeology on London’s longest archaeological site, the Thames.

Learn about the power of mathematics on London architecture at the Science Museum through an 18th-century door salvaged from Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Learn about the man who often stopped the traffic but kept the river flowing at Tower Bridge.

You can also download a free Walk History app and take a stroll along one of the fascinating stories that have made London what it is today. We’re particularly interested in learning about Brixton's Windrush Generation. Find out more about the app below:

Find out what’s happening near you via the London History Day Map and see all the events happening on London History Day on the Historic England website.