London Shh… has been created with a view to encourage more people to discover and enjoy beautiful historic houses which tell the stories of famous former London residents.
Below is a list of these houses:
Benjamin Franklin House (Westminster): This is the only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin in the world. He lived here from 1757 to 1775. This house museum is an excellent place to learn about the many roles of Benjamin Franklin, as an important scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor and founding father of the United States. We have a tour scheduled there on the 7th of November where we will have a look at the glass armonica, one of Franklin’s creation.
Handel House Museum (Westminster): This was the home of the baroque composer George Frideric Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759. The house not only features exhibitions about Handel and classical music in general but also hosts weekly concerts and musical events.
Dr. Johnson’s House (The City): Dr. Samuel Johnson lived in this house from 1748-1759. This is where he put together his impressive Dictionary of the English Language. It is also an excellent example of English 18th century architecture.
Burgh House (Hampstead): This is a grade I listed house built in 1704. From 1933-1937 Elsie Bambridge, Rudyard Kipling’s daughter lived in the Burgh House. It now has its own museum space and frequently hosts interesting events and exhibitions. It also has a charming café.
Freud Museum (Hampstead): This was the last home of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. It houses his books, his extensive collection of antiquities and his famous psychoanalytic couch. It has a museum which also regularly hosts new exhibitions and events. See our blog.
Keats House (Hampstead): The famous poet, John Keats lived in this house from 1818 to 1820. Some of his most famous poetry was written here, including ‘Ode to a Nightingale’. The Keats House now has a museum devoted not only to John Keats’ poetry but to poetry universally.
Kelmscott House (Hammersmith): This 18th century home is most significantly associated with the designer William Morris, who lived here from 1878 until his death in 1896. Kelmscott House is now also home to the William Morris Society which actively continues to study, appreciate, and discuss his work.
7 Hammersmith Terrace (Hammersmith): The former home of Emery Walker (1851-1933) who was a printer, it is the last surviving authentic Arts and Crafts interior in Britain. Emery Walker was good friends with and a mentor to William Morris, leader of the Arts and Crafts design movement.
John Wesley’s House and The Museum of Methodism (Islington): John Wesley is one of the founding members of the Methodist Church. On the same site in Islington and all open to the public, are his home, where he spent the last twelve years of his life, the Museum of Methodism and the Wesley Chapel which has weekly religious service every Sunday.
For more details on these houses and their events, look at http://www.londonshh.org/about.html
Image of the glass armonica, Courtesy of the Benjamin Franklin House