This museum explores the legacy of the Order of St John (The Hospitallers), a religious order founded in Jerusalem by 1099. The members were devoted to nursing and fighting, first as defenders of the land captured in the Holy Lands by the Crusades and later as rulers of a series of island states in the Mediterranean - including Malta. Malta has a wonderful museum too.
In the Middle Ages, warrior monks set out from here to fight for the faith and tend the sick in their hospital in Jerusalem.
The Museum and Library of the Order of St John is housed in the 16th century gatehouse, St John's Gate, that formed the southern entrance to a Priory covering 10-acres of Clerkenwell in medieval times.
Explore the ancient Priory of the Knights Hospitallers with its Tudor Gate House, 16th century Church and 12th century Crypt.
In the Gatehouse, are collections of silver, ceramics, furniture and paintings from the Knights' time in Malta. Treasures in the museum include illuminated manuscripts, armour and a cannon given to the Knights by Henry VIII.
A collection of 16th - 18th century majolica from the pharmacy in Malta; the beautifully illuminated charter, depicting Philip II and Mary Tudor, restoring the Order in 1557 and the 15th century Flemish altarpiece from the Priory Church.
Another gallery has displays on the Priory site showing surviving fragments of the medieval stone work, wood carving, tiles and stained glass.
St John's Gate and the Priory of Clerkenwell: this exhibition looks at the history of St John's Gate, built as the entrance to the Hospitallers' English headquarters and its changing uses since the Reformation.
Time to Care is the story of St John Ambulance.
Farringdon is the nearest station, 5 minutes walk from the museum.
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