Guards Museum
Guards Museum
This museum, located in the historic Wellington Barracks, tells the story of the five regiments of Foot Guards (Coldstream, Scots, Grenadiers, Welsh, and Irish).


The museum was originally begun as an education tool for new Guardsmen, a way to help the new recruits understand the rich heritage of the regiment. That purpose explains why the museum is located at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk, which is still used by the military. It was only later that the exhibits were opened to the general public.

The setting lies directly opposite St James Park, a short walk from Buckingham Palace and Westminster.

The 5 regiments of Foot Guards combine with the Household Cavalry to guard the royal palaces and the monarch. That sounds like a purely ceremonial role, but in practice the regiments serve in combat situations around the world, including recent conflict zones like Afghanistan.

What to See

Museum exhibits cover the long history of the 5 regiments that make up the Foot Guards, from the Civil War to the present day. Visitors can see a large number of uniforms representing different time periods, along with a huge array of medals, sculptures, weapons, models, and paintings tracing the regiment's history and places around the globe where they saw service. Among the more unusual items is a display of Mess Silver.

Collection highlights include items belonging to the Duke of Wellington, Field Marshal Alexander, and 'The Grand Old Duke of York'. Learn about the regiment's public duties in guarding the reigning monarch ad the royal palaces, as well as the life of an ordinary soldier both at home and in service overseas.

Trace the history of the regiment through some of its major campaigns over the past several centuries, including the American Revolution, Peninsular War, the Battle of Waterloo, the Crimean War, and both World Wars.

Though you can tour the museum at your own pace, you can also opt for a guided tour and talk for groups, which lasts about 90 minutes.