The next time you’re in London, try something out of the ordinary touristy paths and travel back in time at the Geffrye museum. You will get a good impression of what people’s houses (of all classes) looked like in former times…
How do I get there?
The Geffrye museum is situated in the trendy Dalston and Hoxton area, so you will probably see many hipsters around. If you arrive by Overground, Hoxton station is directly behind the museum. Otherwise, there are several buses passing by. If you come by tube or train, Liverpool Street is the closest station. After that, take the bus 149 or 242, which stop close to the museum.
What’s there to see?
At the Geffrye museum, you pass through several rooms that are set up periodically in time. Starting with a typical all-in-one family room from a 17th century London house, you walk through rooms from different periods. Each of them provides panels on the wall which explain every era and what London houses looked like back then. This room is followed by the actual rooms furnished completely in that period’s style.
Finishing with a contemporary house’s room, you can wrap up your visit with a stroll through the Herb garden (great flavours!) and the period gardens. Just like the rooms of the main houses, these are arranged according to period.
All displays are based on the English middle classes, following their rise and changes through centuries of the British, and in particular London lifestyle.
What I find most fascinating is the fact that you recognize many of the house layouts from streets in London today. As opposed to Germany, where many old houses are torn down and replaced by new-builds, construction planners here in England and particularly London haven often kept original houses and just restored the inside. Thus, when out and about in London today you still see a wild mix of houses, which from the outside, still look exactly like they would have in Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian or even Tudor times!
How much is it?
Like many of London’s fabulous museums, this gem is absolutely FREE!
The only thing you have to pay for is when you would like to visit the adjoined restored almshouse, which is £3 per adult.
Visit the museum’s website to learn more: www.geffrye-museum.org.uk
Unless otherwise stated, all photos in this post were taken by © Sonja Irani