A Forest Hill museum is under-fire from anti-racism activists who claim it was founded by a shrunken-head collecting plantation owner. 

The Horniman Museum, known for displays of anthropology and natural history, was founded in 1901 by Frederick John Horniman, a tea magnate who used his wealth to amass the initial collection. 

Topple the Racists, a Black Lives Matter supporting campaign, has included the museum on its list of 60 landmarks that should be reviewed, due to Horniman's "shameful" history.

A spokesperson for Topple the Racists said: "Frederick John Horniman was a tea magnate, plantation owner and collector who, among his collection included shrunken heads from native Papua New Guinea tribespeople.

"Arch colonialist, exploiter of empire and shameful collector of native human artefacts.

“We believe these statues and other memorials to slave-owners and colonialists need to be removed so that Britain can finally face the truth about its past – and how it shapes our present."

Frederick John Horniman (1835 – 1906) inherited his father's tea business, which went on to become the biggest in the world. 

On the historical section of the museum's website, it is recognised that his wealth was "reliant on the exploitation of people living in the British Empire."

The section continues: "The tea trade is widely known to have relied on the repurposing of land to build tea plantations, often involving the forced relocation of people already living on and using that land.

"This had long term economic and social impacts that continue to affect people’s lives today."

Horniman has historically been remembered through his museum as a social reformer who campaigned for the creation of the British Welfare State, and was committed to raising standards of living in Britain across all sectors of society.

Topple the Racists was inspired by the direct action of protestors in Bristol, who pulled down a statue of Edward Colston, a local figure who made his fortune in the slave trade 

A statue of slave owner Robert Milligan was removed from London's Docklands on Tuesday evening with local authority approval. 

Labour-led councils across England and Wales have agreed to work with their local communities to look at the "appropriateness" of certain monuments and statues on public land and council property.

The Horniman Museum has been contacted for comment.