The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum
The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum

Tel: +44 (0)117 925 4980

Fax: +44 (0)117954 4849

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Main Galleries
Breaking the Chains
Serving Empire

Museum is now CLOSED in preparation for the relocation to London

Main Galleries

Sixteen galleries packed with interactive exhibits tell the story of the biggest empire the world has ever known. Encounter fabulous and rare objects, see amazing film and photographs, play cool computer games and puzzles, enjoy moving personal stories and take part in the many family-friendly activities that guarantee a fantastic experience for all ages.

Britain builds an empire

Click here for more pictures in our Picture Gallery..

(1480 - 1800) How did Britain's empire begin? And who helped to build it? These galleries tell the story of the empire's early years...

  • how England's merchants built private trading empires across the world
  • who gained and who suffered as the empire expanded into the Americas

and why Britain's empire became predominantly based in the east. This section also includes the galleries:

  • Exploration and plunder
  • Luxurious trade
  • Plantations in the Americas
  • Islands of empire

The rise of Victoria's empire

Click here for more pictures in our Picture Gallery..

(1800 - 1900) How did Britain's empire work? And who benefited from it? These galleries tell the story of the Victorian empire...

  • how Britain expanded and controlled its empire
  • who left Britain to live or work abroad

and what it felt like to live under British rule. This section also includes the galleries:

  • Pax Britannica?
  • Conflict and control
  • Shrinking the globe
  • Britain's white colonies
  • Humanitarian impulse
  • Empire at home

End of empire

Click here for more pictures in our Picture Gallery..

(1900 - today) How did Britain's empire come to an end? What replaced it? These galleries cover the shift from empire to Commonwealth...

  • how the two world wars changed colonial attitudes
  • how Britain responded to nationalists' demands for freedom

the legacy of the empire in Britain today. This section also includes the galleries:

  • Colonial families
  • Forest, plain and jungle
  • Developing dilemmas
  • Empire embattled
  • Commonwealth ideal
  • The Commonwealth comes to Britain


Short video tour of Museum (46 Seconds)

Recommendations for Broadband Users: Click on the media player below to watch the video.

Recommendations for Dial-up (56k) Users: Download the compressed version of the video to your computer from the link below.

Compressed Download:

Museum Video Tour
7th July 2005 | 11,101 KB


Go Back

Station Approach, Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QH

Tel: +44 (0)117 925 4980

Fax: +44 (0)1179544849

Copyright © British Empire & Commonwealth Museum 2007. All Rights Reserved. Registered Charity Number 1097205.