Always meant to go..sounds lovely so will certainly put it on the list :)
The Geffrye Museum
Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA
- Hoxton Station (<0.1 km)
- Shoreditch High Street Station (0.9 km)
- Haggerston Railway Station (0.8 km)
- Shoreditch High Street Rail Station (0.9 km)
- Contact us:
020 7739 9893
21 reviews of The Geffrye Museum in English
I absolutely love this hidden museum gem, which amazingly displays daily London life over the past 300 years for FREE. It is rather small compared to the big ones in central London, but therefore very interestingly arranged and really interactive. Before you enter a period room you have a look at a room which tells you a lot about a specific period (political situation, how houses in London were built at that time and what the rooms typically consisted of, original artefacts from that time etc.). You can even listen to people talking about their daily lives at that period (mostly citing letters and diaries) via the phone. Being very inactive also makes this museum a good place to go to with children.
After you have visited all the rooms in the building you can continue your journey through time by visiting the back gardens, each of them displaying a certain period, just like the rooms.
I am planning to go back in December, when they will decorate all rooms for Christmas and offer special exhibitions about Christmas traditions in the different periods.
A few minutes from our home this tranquil hideaway has been a favourite spot for escaping the bustle of Shoreditch life. Anyway, great little museum with good cafe and shop, lovely gardens and friendly staff.
The star of the show is the range of activities for kids - all free - a staple of our plans for school holidays - based on themes from the museum - today we are busy decorating Japanese noodle bowls and clay chopstick holders. If you have kids this really is a must visit place
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I had my reservations about visiting this museum. It seemed somewhat bizarre to me, a former hospital being converted into a museum of living rooms through the ages. I've been to a few weird museums in my time (the cat museum in Amsterdam taking the crown of being the most surreal but at the same time brilliant), but this seemed like an odd concept.
Nevertheless, with visiting family in tow, I ventured there last weekend. And I'm now a bit miffed that I'd never heard of it it before. First of all, it's huge, so there's no chance of getting lost (a bonus for the permanently befuddled and disorientated like me). Next up, it's located right next to the brand spanking new shiny Hoxton station. Which means you can get to it on the brand spanking new shiny East London Line. Oh, the excitement, and we hadn't even go to the museum yet.
Now, when we were there, they were having some sort of family fun day. Which meant live music in the gardens, swing dancing, free activities for little 'uns and general picnic-style merriment. My mother, the jive dancing enthusiast, was already in raptures.
Once we'd had a fair few attempts at the Electric Slide, we ventured indoors. The museum is free, and although it is all about the living rooms through the ages, because living rooms are generally the hub in most homes, replicas of these rooms from the 1600s to the present day mean a wander through them is also a bit of a history and pop culture education, as well as the more obvious elements like architecture, interior design and fashion.
The herb gardens at the back of the museum are gorgeous too - they'd be the perfect place to while away a lunch hour if you worked nearby, and for when the weather not's so sunny, there's a reading room indoors overlooking the garden too.
So we whiled away several hours here, and I'm sure I'll be back. My only beef would be that the layout is slightly strange - whereas you'd expect the route through the rooms to be circular, once you get to the most recent room, you have to double-back and walk through them all again to get to the exit. This means traffic jams in the corridors and stress for anyone with buggies and wheelchairs.
Also, for anyone especially interested in recent history and design, it might be worth knowing that the most 'recent' rooms in the museum is one dedicated to the 30s, then early 60s, then the 90s, so there's no sneak peeks into 20s, 50s, 70s or 80s. Which considering all the fashion, art and design movements in those decades, seems a bit of an oversight. But I'm still a Geffrye museum convert.
Smashing museum (interiors show you how the middle classes lived) set in wonderful grounds. Take some time before you enter to visit the herb garden at the back.
Once you've trundled past all the rooms you can either retire to the cafe (worth it), browse through the interior magazines and books (there is a lovely sunny room with flip down wooden seats for this) or visit their special exhibitions.
Not the most well-known of museums, but a gem.
Watch out for their seasonal activities too.
I went to the Museum and Gardens on Sunday. The sun was shining and the herb gardens and gardens “through the ages” were an absolute delight. The Museum is housed in old arms houses which exhibit period style living of the middle classes from the 17th to 21st Century. Relaxed and informative, this Museum is not stuffy at all and offers a really refreshing insight into lives in bygone eras. Recommended for couples, friends or families. It’s a free day out in beautiful surroundings hidden away in Shoreditch. What more could you ask for from your Summer Sunday afternoon?
Growing up in Hackney there weren’t many cultural and historical places to go but then I discovered the Geffrye museum and for about a year my Saturdays became exciting and memorable. You see every Saturday the Geffrye museum held a wonderful arts and crafts workshop for kids, it was just a great day out, with lots of fun activities and every kid had a great time. Apart from that, the museum itself is a wonderful snapshot of life in the past. Each area you come upon is a different hystorical timeline laid out in precise detail. The furniture they have is exquisite and the attention to detail is amazing. It’s like walking through a living timeline. The staff are helpful and being in a wheelchair is no problem as it’s all set out over one floor and is very easy to navigate. The Geffrye museum is surely one of London’s and Hackneys unsung heroes.
Smashing little museum of furniture and style, with each room done out in different historical periods, set in an old almshouse. It has a pleasant garden, a shop and a rather over-priced cafe. Free entry, there is no car park but close to public transport
My daughter has attended several excellent free workshops at the Geffrye Museum, including Christmas Cookery and Funky Fairylights. I have also attended the Christmas Past exhibition which I loved. The grounds are beautiful, especially in winter.
The Geffrye is a rare place: a museum that is fun for adults and kids. (they do a lot of work with local schools) Kids have lots to see, touch, smell, draw, find. Adults will enjoy the memories, or the perfect style which the room settings evoke.
Restaurant is pretty good, too, and caters for all with good food at reasonable prices.
Definitely one if you are ever at a loose end. On a sunny day, the courtyard makes a great picnic area, and the garden hidden round the back is missed by many.
This is a brilliant museum! Really worthwhile.
It is basically all about living rooms. Last time I was there they had a show case of four 20th century living rooms - they illustrated the frantic pace of change over the last 100 years very well. Quite fascinating!
I loved the bookshop! I never bought as many postcards as I did there (only the bookshop at the Photographers’ Gallery near Leicester Square rivals this one for post cards for me!). Their books and other material are fantastic too. Plan in some time for the shop!
The herb garden is lovely. People don’t normally hang around too much being noisy so it’s a marvellous place to sit and relax. It depends on time of year though whether it looks quite in bloom or a bit more bedraggled. Nice and quiet though.
I went to the Geffreye as a last minute decision, with one day left on my last visit to London. I am so glad I did! The museum (which is free: spring for the 1 pound audioguide--well worth it!) displays period rooms of the middle class at various points in the past 400 years. The first room is from the early 1600s, and the last from the 1990s. It is absolutely fascinating! I am a history buff, so it was interesting to see how “normal” people lived at different periods. Anyone with an interest in design will also love it. There is a beautiful garden in the back, too. I sat in the courtyard in the front for a while, too (it was a lovely day). What an oasis of calm!
The Geffrye is well worth the trip. I took the Tube to Old Street, and walked about 15 minutes to the museum. This gave the added bonus of a walk through Hoxton Square.
Comment 1 comment on this review
Templar, 6 July 2008:
I visited the Geffyre Museum over the Christmas period where each of the rooms was decorated according to the style of the era. I think this added a whole new dimension to the experience. The corridor along which people have to walk can get pretty blocked because it is also the way out once people have finished their tour- be sure to go off-peak to avoid frustrating crowds.
I really enjoyed checking out the rooms and had fun with the touchy-feely displays. The highlight for me was the cute, great value cafe where I felt comfortable with a glass of mulled wine and a scone- I’m sure they do lovely food the rest of the year too! ;-)
One of my favorites, i have been 3 times in the last 2 years.
Its so cool to see how the uk middle class used to live for the last 400 years. They have a showroom for every 40 years or so.
They also have a beautiful and very extensive herb garden at the back open from Spring till Autumn.
The best is it is not crowded and its totally free!!!!
If you live in Shoreditch it is a must!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a real hidden gem, located in Hackney where you wouldn’t expect such a fantastic and interesting museum. It’s a stunning place to visit with lovely gardens and the exhibits of interiors over the years make you feel like you’re walking through time. It also has a lovely cafe.
I haven’t been to this place for years, and I’ve been meaning to go back for ages! Somehow I always seem to end up walking past just as it closes at 5pm. Well, finally made it… and glad I did.
Though not in a pretty area, the museum grounds are lovely. There’s open lawns and trees at the front, and a garden, including herb garden, at the back. This is closed during the winter, but can be seen through windows. The museum itself is a set of converted alms houses. As such the main part of the museum is a long line of rooms with household interiors from various periods from the 1600’s. There’s also displays of items to go with these, and sometimes interactive displays, such as material samples that you can feel. Halfway down the line you also come into what was the chapel for the almshouses (apparently attendance twice a day was compulsory).
Down at the end there’s a whole modern wing housing a café and the modern interior displays. It’s quite a contrast to the older parts of the museum, but fitting in a museum about building interiors that the building should also display different periods! The café has some amazing light fittings and lovely airy windows over the gardens.
I only made a quick visit, but there’s lots of stuff to read everywhere. Good labelling… The museum also seems to encourage further study. There’s a reading room and library with books available (gardening, interiors, cooking, anything vaguely relevant!). In the modern wing there’s a room with recent design magazines available to read.
Only a small museum, but definitely worth a visit.
This is one of London’s most unique and charming museums. The Geffrye takes us through the history of the English domestic interior from the 17th century to the present day. A series of period rooms containing fine collections of furniture and art displays how the tastes and styles of the urban middle classes have changed over time. The museum is set in 18th-century almshouse buildings with luscious gardens, including a walled herb garden and series of period gardens. Special themed exhibitions are run throughout the year. Its really is a different and interesting day out and is also free as an added bonus.
This museum shows us how Londoners have lived over the years. It shows us how middle class people lived in London. Just wonder down the rooms showing how people lived from the 1600 up till now. This museum has beautiful gardens. The wonderful thing is to see how people lived and the style of furniture they had in those days. This place also boast an excellent shop where you can have tea after you finish walking through the museum and garden.
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