From talks and debates, to guided tours and creative workshops, our range of events explore the stories surrounding the history of policing on Bow Street. 

Guided Tours

Of Mollies and Men – A Queer History of Bow Street and Beyond

Image: (C) Alamy. Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park, both in full drag, leave Bow Street Magistrates’ Court on 9 April 1870.

From the Molly Houses of the 18th century, to the arrest and trial of Oscar Wilde, to the laws protecting LGBTQ+ people today, explore the rich history of Covent Garden with this Bow Street Police Museum Walking Tour. Discover how law and order governed the lives of queer identifying people throughout history and hear the stories of the people who dared to be themselves. 

Duration: Approximately 90 minutes.

Dates: Saturday 25th September, Sunday 24th October and Saturday 13th November.

Times: 11.30 and 14.30

Price: £15 / £14 Concession / £13.50 Friends of Bow Street Police Museum (Your ticket also includes a 10% discount on future admission to Bow Street Police Museum)

Conditions of entry: you must be 18 years or over to attend this tour. If you would like to book a ticket for anyone aged 16 – 17 years, you must contact the Museum in advance [email protected] 

Please Note

  • This tour is an outside walking tour.
  • Light rain or a moderate breeze will not cancel the tour.
  • There will be no access to public toilets once the tour begins.
  • There is no seating available along the tour route.
  • The tour follows a set route around the Covent Garden area along public pavements, via road crossings and through some pedestrianised spaces.
  • We aim to avoid steps and large curbs, however due to the ever-changing nature of London’s streets we cannot guarantee that the route will always remain entirely step-free.


The team at Bow Street Police Museum are committed to making this event as accessible as possible. Transcripts of the tour are available for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, and all of our guides know basic BSL (British Sign Language) greetings. For those with mobility needs, the guide can adapt the tour route if notified in advance. If you have any other additional needs, please contact the Museum directly to ensure we can accommodate you on your tour. 

Evening Talks

Curating Coppers: Behind the Scenes at Police Museums

Image: (c) Metropolitan Police Heritage Service.

Ever wondered how the history of policing is collected, curated and cared for? Curious about what’s involved in developing a brand-new museum?

Join Katie Smith, Head of Museums and Clare Smith, Historic Collection Curator from the Metropolitan Police Heritage Service, and Vicki Pipe, Manager of Bow Street Police Museum as they explore the history and challenges of working with a police heritage collection. Discover the story of how Bow Street has been home to not one, but two museums, and learn more about some of the most fascinating objects in the Metropolitan Police’s archives.

Date: Thursday 18th November, 2021

Timings: doors 18.30, talk and live stream begin at 19.00

Duration: approxiamtely 75 minutes, includes a Q&A with the audience.

Conditions of entry: this event is recommended for anyone over the age of 16 years.

Tickets: there are two ways to attend this event, in person at Bow Street Police Museum, or online via a live stream (using Zoom).

Prices to attend at the Museum: £12 / £10.80 Friends.

Prices to join Live Stream: £6 / £5.40 Friends (a link for access to the live stream will be sent to ticket holders no less than four hours before the start time of the event.)