Museum, garden and architecture

Discover the Royal College of Physicians in Regent's Park - England's oldest medical College. The museum is open Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm (except on Bank Holidays and other closure days). 

Visiting information & closure days  |  Exhibitions & Events  |  Guided tours  |  Museum news


Our museum collections have been gathered over five centuries since our foundation by Royal Charter of Henry VIII in 1518.

William Harvey (1578-1657) discoverer of the circulation of blood, donated his own library and collections to the College in 1656 creating the Musaeum Harveianum – the earliest named ‘museum’ in England.

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Sir Denys Lasdun's acclaimed Grade I listed building in Regent’s Park has been home to the RCP since 1964. It is considered to be one of Lasdun's most successful creations and he was awarded the Trustees Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in recognition of his work.

Medicinal garden

Our medicinal garden has been described as 'the most interesting garden in London', with over 1,300 plants used as medicine or which commemorate physicians.

The current garden was created in St Andrews Place in 1965. From 2005 it was extensively replanted - thanks to a grant from the Wolfson Foundation - work which continues today with our dedicated team of gardeners and Garden fellows. The centrepiece is a huge oriental plane tree - a descendant from the famous tree on the island of Cos under which Hippocrates is said to have taught his students.

The plants tell the stories of modern-day medicines, of the Doctrine of Signatures, the humoural system of medicine of ancient Greece, herbal medicine, modern myths, hallucinogens and narcotics. All plants are labelled with their Latin names, their plant families, and the region of the world from which they come.

Guided tours

Take a guided tour of the Royal College of Physicians and discover 500 years of history, art and medicine, our acclaimed Grade I listed building, and our medicinal garden.

  • Book a tour for your group of 6+ led by our expert history team or our partners - guided city walks specialists Discover Medical London
  • Groups of six or more can visit the RCP by appointment only or as part of a pre-booked tour. Only groups led by our staff and authorised guides can explore the building.
  • All tours are accessible for wheelchair users. Alternative routes and viewing points exist for visitors with large motorised wheelchairs. 

To find out more about our tours, arrange any access requirements, and to send feedback on your museum visit, please email or call +44 (0)20 3075 1543