The Museum of the Home (formerly The Geffrye Museum) used to house a small collection of rooms from throughout history…
But that’s all in the past.
Because it now houses a very large collection of rooms from throughout history, thanks to a recent multi-million pound refit that saw it almost double in size. It’s still located within the same beautiful Grade I-listed, East London Almshouses that it’s always been in, only now the basement’s been renovated to mirror the floor above.
So what to expect from the museum that closed in 2018, and is now back with a new name and a facelift?
Well quite a lot…
The main attraction at the museum is the sequence of ‘Rooms Through Time‘. There are ten in all, spanning almost 400 years’ worth of domestic life. As you wander through them, you can witness first hand how home life has evolved over the centuries, like a whimsically time-hopping voyeur. You’ll see a parlour in 1870 complete with gas lamps and a terrarium; there’s a hall in 1630 with a bible and some boiled beef all laid out; there’s a drawing room from 1915 where mother & daughter have been knitting socks for the troops on the front; and so on, and so forth. It’s pretty extraordinary.
Outside a similar trick has been pulled courtesy of ‘Gardens Through Time‘. There’s a herb garden from the medieval period stuffed with useful medicinal & edible plants, there’s a remarkable Regency-era Knot Garden designed to be seen from above, a Victorian Cottage Garden filled with colourful wisterias, and more.
Some of the newer stuff includes a series of new Home Galleries exploring housekeeping, faith, entertainment, comfort, and many more nuances of domestic life throughout the ages. They’ve also had the decency to add a new eatery too, from the people behind The Clarence Tavern in Stoke Newington. Molly’s Cafe is housed in a former Victorian pub, and you can feel the pull of history in here even.
And the best bit? Despite all of the money poured into this place, it’s still completely free to visit. Though we would encourage you to support the museum with a donation when you get there.
After all, we all know where charity begins…
NOTE: Museum of the Home (closest tube station Hoxton) is open now. Entry is free, but you’ll need to book ahead, and you can do that right HERE.
Museum of the Home | 136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA
Take a look at more great free things to do in London here…
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