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Our free exhibition 'Lost Victorian City: a London disappeared' takes a look at the collections held at London Metropolitan Archives which provide a window into a Victorian London that has since gone from view. From photographs and records of buildings such as the Oxford Arms in Warwick Lane in 1875, the Pool of London, horse drawn transport, shopping and entertainment, these records chart a rapidly evolving city.

The nineteenth century saw a huge increase in the population of London from just over two million at the time of the 1841 census to around six million by the end of Queen Victoria's reign in 1901. This inevitably shaped the city with an intense period of building to make way for a new infrastructure that impacted the lives of the people of London. Developments in the twentieth century cleared some of the Victorian buildings as they were beginning to be considered old fashioned. Bomb damage during the Second World War also saw many parts of Victorian London swept away. 

Using photographs, maps, panoramas, trade cards, watercolours, and historic documents to explore the theme, this exhibition uncovers London's lost secrets.

From 13 May 2024 to 5 February 2025

Here we present some highlights from our Victorian collections.

Art

LMA's collections contain a vast array of Victorian artist's views of London. For example, the work of C H Matthew's who lived and worked in the city and created views that reflect a nostalgic image of London in his own time.

Photographs

There are many photographs in the LMA collections that capture London with this new and developing medium during the Victorian period. Discover more through the images from the Society of Photographing Relics of Old London (SPROL) who recorded buildings that were under threat of demolition. 

Victorian London in Photographs

Our Victorian London in Photographs exhibition is now over, but you can still see lots of the images used online

Find out more