Geffrye Museum

What

Museums & Galleries

For

All ages

Where

Kingsland Road, London

Opening hours: Tues-Sat 10am-5pm; Suns, bank hols 12-5pm

Free

An eighteenth century alms house, the museum traces the development of English interiors – and the English middle class. That sounds incredibly dull and dreary but don’t be put off.

We took the family audio guide and it was excellent. The permanent exhibition is made up of the interiors of 11 English living rooms from 1600 to the present day, and you are guided through them by the voices of the Geffrye family members who would have lived in them. It is done in a engaging way and the commentary is both amusing, gently ironic and informative. See the arrival of stone, of soft furnishings, of the value attached to ‘foreign’ luxuries with the expansion of empire. Clocks, card tables, photographs, telephones, TVs mark the passing years. Fashions come and go. The 1930s’ flat looks positively ‘on trend’, whereas the sought-after items that fill the 80s’ loft are instantly dated. By the end, you are as much struck by the similarities as the differences between the various living rooms.

The museum is surrounded by calm gardens that also map the passage of change in horticulture. If weather was nice they would make a nice spot for a picnic. 

It is close to Columbia Road so good to combine with a Sunday morning trip to the flower market.

Opening hours: Tues-Sat 10am-5pm; Suns, bank hols 12-5pm

Free

Address:

Kingsland Road, London

Venue phone:

020 7739 9893

Venue website:

www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

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