The Pompeii exhibition at The British Museum

Rainy days call for keeping indoors. After a week cooped up in the office, when it comes to the weekend it’s sometimes nice to seek shelter under the roof of one of London’s great museums and get a little injection of culture. I can’t remember the last time I went to The British Museum so when Lucinda asked me if I wanted to check out the Pompeii exhibition I thought it was a good excuse to pay a visit.

Even with April showers pouring down it’s still an impressive building.


I arrived early so I could wander around and take in some world history. I will admit that history wasn’t my favourite topic at school, there is just so much of it to absorb here that after a fairly short wander (here’s a few highlights) I decided to savour my concentration for the exhibition. So I spent most of my time enjoying the splendour of the Great Court.


It really is a lovely space. Bright, light and airy, even on a wet day like this Saturday.

You can’t help be in awe of its epic proportions and historic stonework.


But of course you might be reading this to see what I thought about the Pompeii exhibition, so I’ll stop there on the Great Court.

Like many of their ticketed exhibitions (it’s £15 per adult), you’ll find this exhibition in the Reading Room.  You can’t take pictures inside but, without comment on the exhibition, it’s probably worth going inside to see its beautiful domed roof at the very least.

As for the exhibition, like most people I knew a bit about what happened way back in AD 79 but most of the facts were lost in my school days.  This exhibition really gives you a detailed insight into why it has fascinated archaeologists and history students for many years – the perfect preservation of human life SO long ago.  There aren’t many natural disasters that retain so much evidence of human life rather than completely destroy it.

It really is amazing how much they’ve uncovered over the years. Through the exhibition you’ll get an idea of not only what happened but their way of life, what they ate (make sure you spot the 1000s year old bread), the homes they lived in and the gardens they enjoyed. The ending is some what disturbing, you can’t imagine the terror of being engulfed by a natural disaster like that with no warning of its arrival.

If you enjoy insights into our human past, have a taste for history or just need some culture in your day, grab a ticket and get yourself down there (April is known for its rainy days!).

Here’s a little history to satisfy your appetite for now…


A statue of Lucius Mammius Maximus that used to be in the theatre at Herculaneum, now in the Great Court whilst the exhibition is on until it ends on 29 September.

Have you been to the British Museum? Have you seen or are you planning to see the Pompeii exhibition?