Free Things To Do In London | Visit The Geffrye And Walk Through The Living Rooms From The 16th Century To Present

November 12, 2016
Geffrye Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

I’m not really a museum geek. I don’t really go to a place and get excited on visiting museums while there. There are only two museums that I actually loved, the Accademia Gallery in Florence because the David statue took my breathe away and the Acropolis Museum in Athens because it’s just oh so beautifully laid out. I’d much rather visit a palace or a ruin, I guess it’s because there’s a full story behind those places.

Geffrye Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

The Geffrye Museum in London is a lesser-known museum in the city and also not located in the center of the city where all the other museums are. It piqued my interest though and made it to my must-visit list in London because I feel it builds a story which dates back to the 16th century to the present.

What is The Geffrye Museum?

Geffrye Museum is a Museum of the Home, it displays living rooms of the middle class families in London over the past 400 years. One of the things which made me want to visit it is because it features the middle class life, a sector which is often overlooked as most of the time it’s the royalties, the aristocrats and the working classes whose lives get featured. There is something about this museum that I can relate to.

Geffrye Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

It focuses on the living room as it’s the most used part of the house. It gives you an insight how this room evolved based on the domestic life during a particular time in history. When did they start putting mirror in the living room? Or a clock? What made them do that? Why is the pattern of the curtains almost always floral during the 18th century? And when did the open plan space start and how it became to be? Those are just some of the questions The Geffrye Museum can answer for you.

Geffrye Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

The displays are a result of careful research based on paintings, drawings, films and photos. Retail catalogue, newspapers and magazines were also used as it most of the time provide information about the home and how it was furnished. On top of that, they’ve also based their research on diaries, letters and literature over the years as it gives further insight of people and their homes and what activities they’ve done in each rooms.

Geffrye Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

One very particular fact which I learned from the Geffrye Museum is that nowadays, the main focal point of a living room is always the television set. But what was the focal point of a living room during the earlier times? It’s the fireplace as it’s the source of heat and a symbol of hearth, home and hospitality.

Geffrye Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

While I’m not an interior decorator myself (our apartment can attest to that), I do appreciate a good interior design. This probably is another factor why I did enjoy walking around Geffrye Museum apart from the fact that it gave me a peek of how middle class families lived through the centuries. I guess it’s not something everyone would enjoy but if you’re into interior design, history or just plain nosy and would like to see how other people lived then (like me) this is a great place to explore.

Geffrye Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

Plan your visit to The Geffrye, Museum of the Home

Admission to The Geffrye Museum including the period gardens is free.
Audio guide is available for a price of GBP3.50 which I do highly recommend. There are also very informative descriptions on each rooms that you’re going to see so if you don’t prefer to rent the audio guide.

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
Bank Holiday Mondays 10am – 5pm
Closed Mondays (unless Bank Holiday), Good Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Closest Overground Station is Hoxton Station which is directly behind the museum.

For more information, visit their website.

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  • Reply Mimi December 20, 2016 at 19:47

    Oh tell me about it, I am the same… love my time to walk around, not in a museum. I’m not super into museums either but sometimes I guess if it rains… kinda no choice ha! Nevertheless, love the concept of this museum!
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  • Reply Thelittlelai: Beyond limits December 17, 2016 at 23:43

    Wow, why on earth you’re not a huge fan of museums? I truly love all the museums and everything I’m seeing around it and the history that it brings. I like all your photos cause it’s really rhyme with your words. This will surely be penned on my bucket list.
    Thelittlelai: Beyond limits recently posted…Top 25 Philippines Travel Blog: Apparently, I’m on the list. My Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 18, 2016 at 09:38

      Just not my thing. I like visiting ruins or palaces more than museums.

  • Reply nisha December 16, 2016 at 02:38

    The exterior of the building looks so beautiful. While I am not a great museum fan, I would go there to see this building for sure. This is probably one of the very few houses not converted into a hotel yet!

  • Reply Sridhar @InterludJourney December 15, 2016 at 18:14

    love the way you tell about this place. It’s amazing information the places with wonderful pics. I’ve never gone there before. Noted it!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:31

      Thank you, it’s a very interesting museum to visit. 🙂

  • Reply Anna December 15, 2016 at 07:54

    I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Geffrye Museum before. All the more exciting to learn about it now, especially because I really enjoy house-museums and I believe a Museum of the Home would be up that street as well. It would be very interesting to study small details of interiors and imagine real people living there. I’ll be sure to visit this place on my next trip to London!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:34

      I also have not heard of it before and I’m so glad I came across it. It’s a very interesting and unique museum.

  • Reply Sally from Passport & Plates December 15, 2016 at 07:26

    Haha I’m with you on museums – I have a “one museum per trip” limit usually :p. However, I’m not going to lie – this museum looks really cool! I’ve been to London a few times and have never even heard of it so I’ll have to check it out next time I visit. The decor is so interesting!
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:35

      Lol. Specially in a place with so many museums, I do have a limit of one museum per month. :p

  • Reply Christine December 15, 2016 at 06:21

    There is always so many free things to do and this is a good one! I’ve never heard of this museum actually but I would like to visit when I’m in London. Loving your photos too!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:37

      Thank you Christine. It’s very interesting for me as I do love interior design and history. 🙂

  • Reply Hallie December 15, 2016 at 03:30

    I’m not super into museums either though I do like the places that are more like installation museums that you can walk in and explore a bit more naturally. Living museums if you will. This one looks interesting. I do like some good historical awareness.
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:39

      It’s very rare that I actually like a museum, it needs to have something unique to engage my curiosity. I have an attention span of a 2 year old so it has to be interesting too. :p

  • Reply Candy December 14, 2016 at 22:41

    I would love to visit this museum for the same reason you had that they represented the life of the middle class. I’m used to seeing the lifestyle of the rich displayed in museums and I’ve always wondered how different the lifestyle was for the other classes. I stared at each photo for so long… it’s so interesting!
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:42

      Thank you Candy, it’s really rare that the middle class families get featured. I guess for most their lives are boring. :p It’s interesting to know what could’ve been my life during different eras. That is, if I’d be middle class then. :p

  • Reply Katy December 14, 2016 at 20:54

    Love the Geffrye Museum, especially at Christmas with all the decorated rooms. Did you see that display? The grounds are pretty also. I agree with Urska – one of London’s special hidden gems

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:43

      I haven’t seen it yet. Do they have an audio guide as well for their Christmas decors? I will have to check it out soon before they remove it. 🙂

  • Reply Claire December 14, 2016 at 20:37

    Wow I have never heard of this museum, I’m English so I suppose I should know better 🙂 And so great that it’s free! London is usually super expensive so finding more free stuff to do really helps!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 18:46

      I’m still living as a tourist so I guess I’m more keen to explore things more than the locals. My colleagues who are locals here in London doesn’t even know that this museum exists. :p

  • Reply Tanja (the Red phone box travels) November 14, 2016 at 20:04

    cool! I’ve seen something similar in Oslo 🙂
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  • Reply Urska - Slovenian Girl Abroad November 14, 2016 at 10:52

    Geffrye Museum is such a small lovely museum – one of London’s hidden gems. Thank you for taking me back there! 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 14, 2016 at 18:48

      Thank you for dropping by. It’s really a great museum to explore, I hope a lot more people would know about it. 🙂

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