Discover how the trade in enslaved Africans and sugar shaped London.

The museum’s building is central to this story. It was built at the time of the transatlantic slave trade, to store the sugar from the West Indian plantations where enslaved men, women and children worked.

The trade in enslaved Africans and sugar was nicknamed the Triangular Trade. Slave ships travelled across the Atlantic in a triangle between Britain, west Africa, and sugar plantations in the Americas.

Some Londoners who were against the slave trade bought sugar from East India. They said it was better than West Indies sugar, because it was not harvested by enslaved Africans.

London merchants shipped cheaply made glass beads to West Africa. The beads were highly valued in Africa, where they were exchanged for enslaved Africans.