London’s Weirdest Museum: The Last Tuesday Society

At 11 Mare Street in Hackney you could easily dismiss this frontage as one of many other quirky themed cocktail bars. But behind the door you’ll find London’s Weirdest Museum (and cocktails too!)

Even as you reach the front door you’ll spot and unusual sign;

London's Weirdest Museum

You might recognise it from Meard Street in Soho, where an identical one was affixed to number 7. This was the home to Sebastian Horsley (more on him later) who was a close friend of our host today; Mr Wynd.

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History

Opening in 2005 the museum is a display of everything that has caught the eye of Viktor Wynd, an artist who’s recreated the pre-enlightenment idea of the Cabinet of Wonders; Wunderkabinnet.

The museum was funded by a Kickstarter campaign by Wynd, fulfilling his dream to create a place that doesn’t educate but instead makes us question why museums usually try to put everything in neat little boxes.

Put succinctly, the Last Tuesday Society has ‘no overeaching aim beyond the theft of its visitors’ time’.

London's Weirdest Museum

‘Curious’ cocktails are served Wednesday-Sunday 12pm-11pm, but we’re on the hunt for weirder things. Let’s head to the basement…

*Fair warning at this point. The following images contain taxidermy, scenes of a sexual nature and other things that are just plain creepy*

Sebastian Horsley

London's Weirdest Museum

A Shrine to the artist most famous for crucifying himself in the Philippines. In the glass case are nails used in that performance art and his sequinned red suit made on Savile Row.

Natural Curiosities

In the narrow space of the basement rooms you sidle along glass cases of insects, masks and skulls.

London's Weirdest Museum
London's Weirdest Museum

The exhibits are often personal and the cases of butterflies are from Wynd’s childhood including every British butterfly he ever caught with his grandfather one Christmas. He also adds that he “still doesn’t know if either of them enjoyed the experience“.

London's Weirdest Museum

Nearby are cases containing taxidermy so peculiar and beautiful they appear almost magic.

The Hendrick’s Gallery

London's Weirdest Museum

Sponsored by the gin brand they share the museum’s dream to make the world a more unusual and pleasant place. Apparently.

London's Weirdest Museum

I freely admit I’m no fan of spiders or anything that scuttles, but happy to concede that these were mesmerising.

London's Weirdest Museum

(Super)natural Curiosities

This section can be hired by groups for a mere £50. It’s adorned with ‘a sea monster’ and a lion skeleton from Glasgow Zoo. The table itself also has a human female skeleton under a glass panel in the middle and the whole chamber is decorated with erotic sketches, presumably for added atmosphere.

London's Weirdest Museum

Another semi private enclave is ‘The Spare Room’ where you can snuggle up next to a stuffed lioness.

London's Weirdest Museum

“A curiosity museum without shrunken heads is like a cake without icing. Impossible” – Viktor Wynd

London's Weirdest Museum

But here we get to the star attraction of the museum. The World’s Longest Standing Erection, an 18th century mummified penis of a hanged man.

London's Weirdest Museum

I did try to warn you.

Intended as an artwork in its own right, Wynd hopes the museum shows a portrait of the inside of his head as an “unhappy and incoherent mess”. I left bewildered and a little bit nauseous so perhaps that’s a success on his part?!

If you fancy visiting London’s weirdest museum for yourself it costs £5 and is open Wednesday – Sunday. Find out more here.

More London Inspiration

  • Mark Lane Ghost Station | Look Up London

    Mark Lane | The Tower Hill Ghost Station

    As you walk along the traffic-packed Byward Street, with All Hallows Barking, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge in the distance, it’s thoroughly understandable that you’d miss a ghost station hiding in plain sight. Abandoned or ‘Ghost’ stations can be seen all over London......

  • M&S Oxford Street | Pantheon History Look Up London

    M&S Oxford Street | The Former Pantheon

    Oxford Street has a bad rep from Londoners, but there’s a surprising among of fabulous history if you know where to look. From a hidden little oasis to the more gruesome reminders at Tottenham Court Road and Marble Arch, often you have to look up......

  • bull and mouth coaching inn

    The Bull and Mouth: A Lost London Coaching Inn

    By the Museum of London you can see an amazing little clue to uncover the history of the Bull and Mouth Coaching Inn...

  • Inside Crosby Moran Hall | Look Up London

    Inside Crosby Moran Hall

    I’m constantly surprised by the wonderful doors that have opened since starting this blog back in 2015. A case in point was that a few weeks ago I wrote about the extraordinary history of Crosby Hall; the Medieval Mansion that was moved 5 miles across......

  • Putney Bridge WWII Pillbox | Look Up London

    A WWII Relic at Putney Bridge Station

    If you look up along Ranelagh Gardens, atop the railway viaduct for Putney Bridge Tube Station, you can spy a curious WWII Relic; a Pillbox. This concrete pillbox was erected in 1940 across Britain, a final line of defence should Germany invade during WWII. They......

  • Lavers and Barraud Stained Glass Works | Look Up London

    Lavers and Barraud Stained Glass Works

    Look up at 22 Endell Street in Covent Garden, and you’ll see the striking facade of a former stained glass studio. Built in 1859 and designed by Robert Jewell Withers, between the multi-coloured decorative brickwork you can make out the proclamation in stone; Lavers and......

London's Weirdest Museum

2 Comments

  • As you said, you did warn me.

    I found this to be entertaining, and your photos are great. But I’m glad we didn’t know about this museum when we were in London in August, because I’m sure my husband would have insisted we go and I might have left feeling the same way you did!

    December 13, 2017 at 5:27 am

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.