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Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum – Where Penicillin was Discovered

A life-saving drug that revolutionised the concept of medicine was discovered in a humble laboratory, Alexander Fleming Laboratory, in St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington by Alexander Fleming who won a Nobel Prize for this discovery. This unassuming place has been restored to its original musty, dusty cramped condition as it was in September 1928 where visitors can see a colourful collection of displays and videos that narrate the story of this important discovery. This reconstructed laboratory is highly authentic and poignant and displays old-fashioned scientific equipment and furnishings. The Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum was opened in 1993 by St Mary’s NHS Trust and it presents a completely different scenario to the usual attractions of London.

If you wish to visit this museum during your visit to London it would be ideal to stay in a Hotel Near Paddington Station as you will get the advantage of being located close to most attractions and the station.

When you visit this museum, you will be able to see Fleming’s laboratory as it was in 1928 and you can learn more about the discovery and development of penicillin by watching displays and video. The laboratory faces Praed Street and you can reach it via Norfolk Place. The laboratory is open Monday to Thursday, from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. It is closed on public holidays and between Christmas and New Year. There is no step-free access as there are stairs going up to the museum. Entry to the museum entails a small entry charge which is £4 for adults, concessions £2, free to staff and students of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College School of Medicine.

Guests staying at Lancaster Gate Hotel London have the advantage of a close proximity to most attractions of the city.

  • The museum has won many awards that include its declaration as an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, in 1999. It has also received the San Marino Idea Award for penicillin as one of the five greatest advances of the 20th century and an award from The Times for penicillin as national millennium treasure in 2000.
  • The museum is regularly visited by students from different schools and universities, and they are given presentations on the discovery of penicillin in Fleming’s laboratory. The presentations are designed specifically to suit their ages, attainment levels and interests. Staff members of the museum also visit these institutions of learning.

The nearest tube stations to the museum are Paddington Tube Station and Edgware Road Tube Station whereas the nearest railway stations are Paddington Railway Station and Marylebone Railway Station.

The Museum is located in a grade II listed building within St Mary’s Hospital and has been used extensively as a film location. The museum regularly welcomes visitors from around the world and, as a result, the information in the museum is available in a number of languages including Japanese, Hindi and Polish.

This post was written by

Fergus Brandon – who has written posts on All Here.


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