Permanent Display

Discover the stories of some of the amazing people that have made their homes here over the last 1,000 years, from Anglo-Saxon settlers to early Victorian villas and recent refugees.

Hackney’s tradition of welcoming newcomers means that its history encompasses the world-wide roots of many communities.

The displays reveal this diverse and changing history through fascinating interviews, objects and images.

Some of them, like the child’s sculpture from Sierra Leone and the propaganda sheet from Nazi Germany, powerfully illustrate the forces that have driven people to leave their homes.

Others like the contents of a Yiddish printing business, show the opportunities people have found here to make a living and start new lives.

Plus our display of artworks from the Chalmers Bequest features historic paintings alongside commissions from Terence Besmirch, Margarita Gluzberg and Paul Needham.

Bring the kids along on Fun Fridays and Super Saturdays 10am-4.30pm to learn about life in Hackney with our fun hands-on activities. All the family can load the Saxon boat, try on historical costumes or drive a number 38 bus and much more.

All children must be supervised by a responsible adult.