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The National Archives

Bessant Drive

Kew

TW9 4DU

United Kingdom

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OPEN HOUSE - Repository tours

There is no need to book for these tours, spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis on the day

Our building will open at 09:00 and the box office will open at 10:00.

Discover what goes on inside The National Archives, South West London’s hidden Brutalist masterpiece.

The National Archives invites you on a journey behind-the-scenes. In 1977, the then Public Record Office undertook one of the biggest ever relocations of its kind by moving from its late Victorian Chancery Lane building (known as ‘The Strongbox of the Empire’) to an innovative Brutalist building, sited improbably amongst Kew’s Victorian terraces. Its controversial design has not always found favour but its many distinctive archival features have stood the test of time with the building still used for its original purpose.

Special tours will explain how we use the space to preserve and conserve the nation’s historical documents for future generations and give insight into the thinking behind the original design.

Our Dining Room will be open from 09:00 for meals and snacks and our shop will be open selling books and souvenirs to remember your day!

Repository tours

We are opening the doors of The National Archives' repositories to offer you the chance to go behind the scenes. Discover how we keep and maintain the record for future generations and explore some of the hidden gems in our collections.

There is no need to book for these tours, spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis on the day: 10:30-12:00, 13:00-14:30, 15:00-16:30

All tours will meet near the welcome desk. Please arrive 15 minutes early for your tour.

We run an exciting range of events and exhibitions on a wide variety of topics. For more details, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/whatson.

Entrance to The National Archives is free and there is no need to book, see nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit for more information.

Please note: We will be introducing charges in our visitor car park later in 2018. Follow the link for further information

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Date and Time

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The National Archives

Bessant Drive

Kew

TW9 4DU

United Kingdom

View Map

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