Friday, 9 March 2012

Trip to London

Last weekend we headed into London to visit the London Museum which was having a Charles Dickens/Victorian exhibit. Since we just finished up learning about the Victorians and the kids read a few books written by Dickens we thought we would go see it. We haven't been to this museum before so we had a look around at the other exhibits as well.

Outside of the Museum, not one of the prettier museums in London but the inside makes up for it:)

Museum starts with prehistoric times to present day...lots of fossils

Lots of stone age tools using flint

Princess watching the video on how to turn a flint stone into an arrow head. This really interests her. We have lots of flint around here and Princess makes a point of bringing it home:)

My husband noticed something very interesting with the weapons. The weapons made of bronze, while older in age appeared in far, far better shape then weapons made in iron which were from a later period. We have been researching the possible reasons for this. Anyone know? Our theories are at the next picture.

Bronze forms a coating of oxidation on the outside preventing further corrosion. Iron on the other hand rust and then flakes off so it can continue the corrosion process. So why did people switch to iron when bronze doesn't corrode as has to do with resources. Bronze melts at a low temperature and is easily worked into forms but is an alloy of copper and tin, which are rarely found in the same location. So if anything interrupts the trade for the two minerals they couldn't make the weapons or other items out of bronze. Iron ore is more plentiful; in fact, you could "harvest" iron ore out of peat bogs and it would regenerate in about 20 years. However, iron is significantly harder to work into form, but the tradeoff of having a ready supply was worth the extra effort for a metal that would corrode quicker.

The old London wall found within the grounds of the London Museum. Built during the time of the Romans.

Trying to figure out a Roman scale and how it works.

Throughout the museum there were lots of computer stations for the kids to look gave me time to read more about the exhibits, which is a win win as far as I am concerned. For some reason my kids would rather see the exhibits on a computer screen and learn about them that way then peer thru a museum exhibit...please someone tell this is not just my kids and perfectly normal and they will grow out of it:)!

I am unable to show pictures of the Dickens exhibit as photographs were not allowed, however outside they had this Victorian dress on exhibit. Can you imagine walking around in this, let alone sitting or going to the bathroom:)!

There were many other exhibits. After 4 hours the kids were beginning to get restless so we headed outdoors. Near by is St Paul Cathedral and we thought we would take a look. However once we arrived we were shocked to discover it costs 35 pounds for a family of 4 to view the cathedral (that is approx $55). Needless to say we didn't go inside. So I only have outside pictures of the cathedral to show you:) This is the cathedral that Princes Diana was married in for those of you who are fans of hers:)

Side of the building

Another successful trip into London. We still have so many museums and churches to visit before we head back to the states.


  1. I always thought they switched to iron because it was stronger and a better quality material. (in the short term anyway) In the long term, I agree that the iron doesn't look as good because the rusting causes it to break down much more readily. (more food for thought - In 2000 years what will be in better condition plastic or iron? - I don't know the answer. Would you rather use a plastic or iron sword? - I know the answer to that.

  2. Great question jmommymom! I would rather us an iron one! Anna-Marie I was stunned at the cost to enter the cathedral but I guess it has "star quality" due to Diana having been married there! Thanks for linking this up at NOBH! ;)

  3. Another great tour of historical places. I feel like you are my personal guide as you share history with me. Thanks so much, and really enjoy you sharing the link here at NOBH.

  4. What a fun field trip! Babydoll would have loved all those fossils.

    It looks like they have a ton of great stuff in there, and special exhibits are always fun. :)

  5. Love all your trips and pictures! That was interesting about the iron/bronze caption! That is special that you got to see the cathedral Princess Diana was married in (despite the high cost to prevent you from getting in :( ) Clicked a vote for you!

  6. Well, you could probably BYOB (Bring Your Own Bathroom) under that skirt! Interesting museum! I thought I was told that they switched to iron for weapons, because it was stronger, but I may be confusing copper and bronze. That is interesting to learn about it being an alloy made from two metals. I never thought about how hard that would be or that they wouldn't both be readily available in the same area!

  7. Several of you wonderful ladies brought up a great point an in: iron is stronger than bronze as a weapon and maybe that is why they switched!
    My husband and I researching that question right now...I hope to get back to you soon with a answer.:)

  8. Museums are always so fun, each one is a bit different! Thanks for linking up at FTF!!

  9. Found the answer to the question is iron harder than bronze? According to Wikipedia

    Early iron was not as strong as Bronze

    Also my husband's theories on the switch is also correct--about the trade routes being a problem for having enough Bronze to make weapons and that iron was more plentiful

  10. London is our kids favourite place on earth! My Husby took an flint knapping class (making projectile points). He had so much fun. But he quickly learned that those little shards of flint are SHARP! When one flakes them off the main object, they fly everywhere and many of them slice as they go. Everyone in the class, instructor included, were sporting a lovely set of band-aids when they finished the class. We loved the Museum when we were there. It's been a few years, though. Probably much has changed . . .

    1. My daughter would so love to take a flint knapping class! She collects large pieces of flint and imagines them to be arrow head and the such. I should look into it for her, but it may be too dangerous:)

  11. Found you via the HHM Hop . . . we are heading to London next week! We have a London Card for getting into touristy attractions . . . you are right they are SO expensive. St. Paul's is just one of many places we would like to see. (Of course traveling with a 5, 3, and 1 year old makes things interesting.) We are planning to stop at the Natural History Museum as well as the Science Museum. IF I can get them out of the pirate ship at Princess Di playground, that is.

  12. Oh my what fun... we did not get to visit the Natural History Museum while we where there. BUT we LOVED St. Pauls, so expensive but worth it. The wispering wall is amazing... really cool science talks came out of that.

  13. what a fabulous trip!
    i so enjoyed being in London...
    happy days :)
    but that victorian dress is unbelievable! i can definitely see the problems that wearing it would create, just as you mentioned!
    Thanks for your FHC visits! love to have you stop in anytime...