A visitor looking closely at the Lewis Chessmen in a glass cabinet

Room 40

Medieval Europe

AD 1050–1500
The Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Gallery

Visiting the gallery

Opening times

Closed until further notice.

Gallery audio guides

Available on YouTube Music and Apple Music.

The Medieval Europe gallery showcases many of the world's greatest medieval treasures.

British, European and Byzantine objects tell the story of a period of great change when territorial wars and political turmoil shaped the continent we know today.

From the power and dominance of the Church in everyday life, to the social change spread through Europe by a new merchant class, unique and famous objects provide a gateway to the major developments of the age.

The ritual and protocol of the royal court is explored, as well as the cultural, intellectual and political exchange brought about by travel, trade and pilgrimage. Examples of sacred art also show how the divine was represented at the time.

Take a virtual tour

Browse Medieval Europe, get closer to the Lewis Chessmen, then take a look around to find the opulent Royal Gold Cup.

The Lewis Chessmen in the Medieval Europe gallery. Image ©2020 Google.


  • A large print guide is available. 
  • Some objects in this collection feature on the British Sign Language guide handset, available from the Audio guide Desk in the Great Court.
  • Some objects in this collection feature on the audio description guide, available from Audio guide Desk in the Great Court.
  • Seating is available.
  • Step-free access.
  • View sensory map.

Visit Accessibility at the Museum for more information.