This investigation of the home was installed in a place constructed for people who didn’t have one: a U-shaped line of 14 dignified brick houses built in 1714 to house indigent ironworkers. Inside is a walk-through of the history of typical dwellings, which the museum calls Rooms Through Time: re-creations and sundry artifacts form abodes from the 1600s to the present, artfully arranged and explained with plenty of interactive diversions for kids (like squashing digital bedbugs). This under-appreciated institution, which opened in 1914 as the Geffrye Museum, explores all sorts of historical ephemera we rarely think about. What did mass-produced chairs look like in the 19th century? When did servants stop eating alongside their employers at the same table? How long did it take for mirrors to be inexpensive enough for average people to have one in their own house? Outside in Gardens Through Time, you’ll see live plantings that mirror the popular botanical trends you’d have found in yards in the Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, and Victorian eras. Make sure to take a minute to unwind and inhale in the fragrant Herb Garden, in the northernmost cloister—it’s one of London’s must idyllic secret spaces. You can also visit the museum’s restored almshouse, where charity cases were allowed to live back in the day. People in the past were so cruel to the poor! They blamed them for their own poverty, left them to suffer without health care, and then blamed them for their own misery by calling them lazy! Good thing we’re not so mean to poor people now.
Museum of the Home
136 Kingsland Rd., E2
Our Rating Hours Tues–Sun 10am–5pm Transportation Tube: Hoxton (London Overground) Phone 020/7739-9893 Prices Free Web site Museum of the Home
Map136 Kingsland Rd., E2 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.