The British Museum was founded in 1753, though the current building dates from the 1820’s.
It was originally open for only 3 hours a day and visitors had to apply in writing for tickets. It was not until 1879 that general access was permitted.
In the courtyard stands the round Reading Room, which was once open only to those with reader’s tickets, but is now open to everyone.
The dome of the Reading Room is the same size as that of St Peter’s in Rome. Famous visitors to the Reading Room have included Lenin and Marx.