The Wallace Collection

If you find yourself at a loose end, with a couple of hours to spare when in town, this gem of a place really does deserve your attention.


Originally a private collection housed in a building that belonged to the family that collected the items, the house is located in Manchester Square, W1U 3BN. If you find Selfridge's, it's just behind there.


There are a number of formal rooms housing a considerable collection of paintings and porcelain. Highlights include Frans Hals' "Laughing Cavalier". For the wargamer or militaria buff there are a number of galleries which are stuffed from floor to ceiling with arms and armour, including one gallery solely devoted to Renaissance weaponry. These galleries are a pleasant change from museum exhibitions which have been redesigned to be 'interactive' and 'child-friendly'; I love the almost Victorian way in which exhibits are displayed. The other bonus is that if anyone ever accuses you of hoarding - here is the evidence that, relatively speaking, you possibly aren't.

The highlight for me was a fifteenth century German gothic suit of armour, and horse armour which I remember being illustrated in a book as a child - pretty sure it was an old Ladybird book.


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