Amassed by the Hertford-Wallace family throughout the 19th century, the collection was given to the nation by the widow Lady Wallace in 1897 and opened to the public in 1900. The notable works, displayed in a traditional aristocratic townhouse, include French 18th-century painting, furniture, and porcelain, as well as important pieces by Rembrandt, Hals, and Velázquez.
This often-overlooked collection offers visitors unique insight into European art and social history with more than 5,000 display pieces lining the stately rooms, including paintings, ceramics, furniture, and sculptures. Select tours offer a visit as part of a private London itinerary, allowing for a fully personalized experience, while the museum itself offers private group tours, out-of-hours visits, and family activity maps, as well as a free highlights tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Wallace Collection is free to enter.
- With one of the best ancien régime collections outside of France, as well as works by the old masters, the museum is a must-see for art enthusiasts and those interested in European history.
- The museum is wheelchair-accessible, with ramp access, a lift between floors, and accessible toilets.
How to Get There
The Wallace Collection is a 10-minute walk from Bond Street, served by the Central and Jubilee lines. Marylebone is the nearest mainline station, about a 20-minute walk away, or a short bus ride (No. 139, 13, 113, 189, or 174) straight down Gloucester Place. Driving in London is not recommended, although there is limited parking available in Manchester Square for disabled visitors.
When to Get There
The collection is open daily, and its on-site restaurant, Peyton and Byrne, offers dining in a glass-covered courtyard from breakfast through afternoon tea daily, and for dinner Friday and Saturday.
Links to British Aristocracy
When the widow of Sir Richard Wallace gifted the collection in 1897, it was an end to a long family legacy of collecting. The Wallace Collection was amassed by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of Richard Seymour-Conway, the fourth Marquess. The Seymour family are well-known in British history; Jane Seymour, Queen of England from 1536 to 1537, was the third wife of Henry VIII and a distant Wallace relative.