According to the Hebrew Bible, Solomon's Temple was built atop what is known as the Temple Mount in the 10th century BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and the Second Temple completed and dedicated in 516 BCE. Around 19 BCE Herod the Great began a massive expansion project on the Temple Mount. In addition to fully rebuilding and enlarging the Temple, he artificially expanded the platform on which it stood, doubling it in size. Today's Western Wall formed part of the retaining perimeter wall of this platform. In 2011, Israeli archaeologists announced the surprising discovery of Roman coins minted well after Herod's death, found under the foundation stones of the wall. The excavators came upon the coins inside a ritual bath that predates Herod's building project, which was filled in to create an even base for the wall and was located under its southern section. This seems to indicate that Herod did not finish building the entire wall by the time of his death in 4 BCE. The find confirms the description by historian Josephus Flavius, which states that construction was finished only during the reign of King Agrippa II, Herod's great-grandson. Given Josephus' information, the surprise mainly regarded the fact that an unfinished retaining wall in this area could also mean that at least parts of the splendid Royal Stoa and the monumental staircase leading up to it could not have been completed during Herod's lifetime. Also surprising was the fact that the usually very thorough Herodian builders had cut corners by filling in the ritual bath, rather than placing the foundation course directly onto the much firmer bedrock. Some scholars are doubtful of the interpretation and have offered alternative explanations, such as, for example, later repair work.
Several Jewish authors of the 10th and 11th centuries write about the Jews resorting to the Western Wall for devotional purposes. Ahimaaz relates that Rabbi Samuel ben Paltiel (980-1010) gave money for oil at \"the sanctuary at the Western Wall.\" Benjamin of Tudela (1170) wrote \"In front of this place is the Western Wall, which is one of the walls of the Holy of Holies. This is called the Gate of Mercy, and hither come all the Jews to pray before the Wall in the open court.\" The account gave rise to confusion about the actual location of Jewish worship, and some suggest that Benjamin in fact referred to the Eastern Wall along with its Gate of Mercy. While Nahmanides (d. 1270) did not mention a synagogue near the Western Wall in his detailed account of the temple site, shortly before the Crusader period a synagogue existed at the site. Obadiah of Bertinoro (1488) states \"the Westen Wall, part of which is still standing, is made of great, thick stones, larger than any I have seen in buildings of antiquity in Rome or in other lands.\"
In December 1917, Allied forces under Edmund Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Turks. Allenby pledged \"that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer of whatsoever form of the three religions will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faith they are sacred\".
From October 1928 onward, Mufti Amin al-Husayni organised a series of measures to demonstrate the Arabs' exclusive claims to the Temple Mount and its environs. He ordered new construction next to and above the Western Wall. The British granted the Arabs permission to convert a building adjoining the Wall into a mosque and to add a minaret. A muezzin was appointed to perform the Islamic call to prayer and Sufi rites directly next to the Wall. These were seen as a provocation by the Jews who prayed at the Wall. The Jews protested and tensions increased.
Forty-eight hours after capturing the wall, the military, without explicit government order, hastily proceeded to demolish the entire Moroccan Quarter, which stood 4 metres (13 ft) from the Wall. The Sheikh Eid Mosque, which was built over one of Jerusalem's oldest Islamic schools, the Afdiliyeh, named after one of Saladin's sons, was pulled down to make way for the plaza. It was one of three or four that survived from Saladin's time. 106 Arab families consisting of 650 people were ordered to leave their homes at night. When they refused, bulldozers began to demolish the buildings with people still inside, killing one person and injuring a number of others.
A complex of buildings against the wall at the southern end of the plaza, that included Madrasa Fakhriya and the house that the Abu al-Sa'ud family had occupied since the 16th century, were spared in the 1967 destruction, but demolished in 1969. The section of the wall dedicated to prayers was thus extended southwards to double its original length, from 28 to 60 metres (92 to 197 ft), while the 4 metres (13 ft) space facing the wall grew to 40 metres (130 ft).
Queen Victoria returned to lay the foundation stone of the Aston Webb building (to the left of the main entrance) on 17 May 1899. It was during this ceremony that the change of name from 'South Kensington Museum' to 'Victoria and Albert Museum' was made public. Queen Victoria's address during the ceremony, as recorded in The London Gazette, ended: \"I trust that it will remain for ages a Monument of discerning Liberality and a Source of Refinement and Progress.\"
The opening ceremony for the Aston Webb building by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra took place on 26 June 1909. In 1914 the construction commenced of the Science Museum, signaling the final split of the science and art collections.
In 2001, the museum embarked on a major 150m renovation programme, called the \"FuturePlan\". The plan involves redesigning all the galleries and public facilities in the museum that have yet to be remodelled. This is to ensure that the exhibits are better displayed, more information is available, access for visitors is improved, and the museum can meet modern expectations for museum facilities. A planned Spiral building was abandoned, in its place a new Exhibition Road Quarter designed by Amanda Levete's AL A was created. It features a new entrance on Exhibition Road, a porcelain-tiled courtyard (The Sackler Courtyard, inaugurated as such in 2017, but which lost its name in 2022) and a new 1,100-square-metre underground gallery space (The Sainsbury Gallery) accessed through the Blavatnik Hall. The Exhibition Road Quarter project provided 6,400 square metres of extra space, which is the largest expansion at the museum in over 100 years. It opened on 29 June 2017.
The museum also runs the Young V&A, at Bethnal Green, due to open 1 July 2023; it used to run Apsley House, and also the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden. The Theatre Museum is now closed; the V&A Theatre Collections are now displayed within the South Kensington building.
The Exhibition Road Quarter opened in 2017, with a new entrance providing access for visitors from Exhibition Road. A new courtyard, the Sackler Courtyard, has been created behind the Aston Webb Screen, a colonnade built in 1909 to hide the museum's boilers. The colonnade was kept but the wall in the lower part was removed in the construction to allow public access to the courtyard. The new 1,200-square meter courtyard is the world's first all-porcelain courtyard, which is covered with 11,000 handmade porcelain tiles in fifteen different linear patterns glazed in different tone. A pavilion of Modernist design with glass walls and an angular roof covered with 4,300 tiles is located at the corner and contains a cafe. Skylights on the courtyard provide natural light for the stairwell and the exhibition space located below the courtyard created by digging 15m into the ground. The Sainsbury Gallery's column-less space at 1,100 square metres is one of the largest in the country, providing space for temporary exhibitions. The gallery can be assessed through the existing Western Range building where a new entrance to the Blavatnik Hall and the museum has been created, and visitors can descend into the gallery via stairs with lacquered tulipwood balustrades.
In 2004, the V&A alongside Royal Institute of British Architects opened the first permanent gallery in the UK covering the history of architecture with displays using models, photographs, elements from buildings and original drawings. With the opening of the new gallery, the RIBA Drawings and Archives Collection has been transferred to the museum, joining the already extensive collection held by the V&A. With over 600,000 drawings, over 750,000 papers and paraphernalia, and over 700,000 photographs from around the world, together they form the world's most comprehensive architectural resource.
Not only are all the major British architects of the last four hundred years represented, but many European (especially Italian) and American architects' drawings are held in the collection. The RIBA's holdings of over 330 drawings by Andrea Palladio are the largest in the world; other Europeans well represented are Jacques Gentilhatre and Antonio Visentini. British architects whose drawings, and in some cases models of their buildings, in the collection, include: Inigo Jones, Sir Christopher Wren, Sir John Vanbrugh, Nicholas Hawksmoor, William Kent, James Gibbs, Robert Adam, Sir William Chambers, James Wyatt, Henry Holland, John Nash, Sir John Soane, Sir Charles Barry, Charles Robert Cockerell, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, Sir George Gilbert Scott, John Loughborough Pearson, George Edmund Street, Richard Norman Shaw, Alfred Waterhouse, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Charles Holden, Frank Hoar, Lord Richard Rogers, Lord Norman Foster, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid and Alick Horsnell.
In June 2022, the RIBA announced it would be terminating its 20-year partnership with the V&A in 2027, \"by mutual agreement\", ending the permanent architecture gallery at the museum. Artefacts will be transferred back to the RIBA's existing collections, with some rehoused at the institute's headquarters at 66 Portland Place building, set to become a new House of Architecture following a 20 million refurbishment. 59ce067264