Cuming Museum, Southwark

The Cuming Museum is the home of the worldwide collection of the Cuming Family and the museum of Southwark’s history.

It houses a diverse collection that includes archeology, ethnography, social history and natural history. A mix of permanent and changing exhibitions tells the story of the Cuming family, and the history of Southwark, from Roman times to the diverse communities of today.

The Cuming Museum is the result of over 100 years of collecting by father and son, Richard and Henry Cuming. When the Cuming family collection was left by Henry Cuming to the people of the parish of St Mary Newington (now the Borough of Southwark), money was also left for the building of a gallery to house the collection.

The Cuming Museum was opened to the public in 1906 in the gallery located at the back of Newington Library. In 2006, on the museum’s centenary, the museum move to its present location in the Old Walworth Town Hall, next door to the original museum.

The museum is divided into three sections.

  • The first gallery tells the story of the Cuming family and their collection.
  • The second gallery focuses on the history of Southwark and is split into three areas, settling here, a place to visit and world connections. The Southwark gallery looks at the people who have lived and worked here from Roman times to today.
  • The third gallery in the museum is the temporary exhibition gallery. Our exhibitions change every four to six months.

The museum runs events and activities for adults and families throughout the year. During half term, spring and summer school holiday periods we have a changing program of family activities. There are also special events and activities arranged in connection with our latest temporary exhibition.

Visitor information
The Cuming Museum is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm.
Admission is free.

The Cuming Museum
Old Walworth Town Hall
151 Walworth Road
SE17 1RY

Tel: 020 7525 2332

How to get to the Cuming Museum

Rail and tube

  • Elephant and Castle underground station
  • Elephant and Castle rail station
  • Kennington underground station

Walking directions from Elephant and Castle underground

  • We are five to ten minutes walk from the Elephant and Castle underground station.
  • Make sure you leave from the Northern Line exit (shopping centre exit).
  • Once outside, turn left and walk around the outside of the shopping centre, keeping it on your left.
  • Walk under a railway bridge and you’ll find yourself on the Walworth Road.
  • Continue, heading straight across the main junction of Haygate Street. Pass a petrol station.
  • The Cuming Museum is inside the Old Walworth Town Hall on the corner of Wansey Street.
  • The museum is at the front of the building on the ground floor, through the main front entrance.


  • 12, 35, 40, 45, 68, 148, 171, 176, P5, 343, 468
  • There are bus stops immediately outside the building.
  • First stop after the Elephant and Castle shopping centre if you are heading towards Camberwell Green or Peckham.

For more information