Address: Millbank, London SW1P 4RG


Time: 10.00am to 6.00pm

Time Information:

Phone: 0207 887 8888

Entry Price: Free

700m from Vauxhall

450m from Pimlico

The Tate Britain is one of four Tate art galleries in Britain today, the others being Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.

The name Tate comes from Henry Tate, a sugar magnate who, in 1889, offered his art collection to the nation. As there was no room at the National Gallery it was decided to build a new one.

The site chosen was the former Millbank Prison, a place where many prisoners were held before being transported to Australia. This Millbank gallery opened in 1897 and was officially called the National Gallery of British Art and unofficially known as the Tate, a name that became official in 1932. In 1955 it became independent of the National Gallery and in 1988 opened a branch in Liverpool with a further one opening in St Ives. In 1993 the Millbank gallery changed its name to Tate Britain.

It holds the largest collection of British Art from 1500 and displays works by all the great British masters. The galleries also show contemporary work.

In 1992 they decided a separate gallery was needed for modern art, this being work from 1900 onwards. The building they chose, quite fittingly for such a theme, was the old Bankside Power Station which had closed in 1981 and is now home to the Tate Modern. It has a Thameside location.

Tate Britain has suffered damage on two occasions, first due to flooding in 1928 and secondly through bomb damage in 1940. There was major renovation in 2012-13 with the introduction of nine galleries.

The gallery offers free admission to the public and attracts five million visitors a year. Millbank Millennium Pier stands outside offering visitors the chance to take a boat trip downriver to the Tate Modern. These London galleries are two of the most popular London landmarks.

The images below form only part of the exhibits on show and displays can often change.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.