A hidden jewel: The Geffrye Museum

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Many of you may have passed by it many times when up and down the nowadays trendy Kingsland Road, in Hoxton.

Although impossible to miss due to its straightforward beauty you may have wondered however, what this remarkable building is.

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Built by the Ironmongers’ Company in the 18th century with a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye, this geometrically perfect Georgian building hosts the Museum of eponymous name, devoted to the history of the home.

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The Geffrye Museum focuses on the urban living rooms and garden of the English ‘bourgeoisie’. A series of delightful period rooms encompassing the 17th to 20th century, offer us an accurate glimpse into the lives of the English middle classes.

Each display is complemented by condensed, easy to absorb and historically accurate information on period colours, wallcoverings, furniture, fabrics, homewares and decorative items.

In the oldest part of the building we are faced by the severity of a 17th century hall,


the sobriety and simplicity of Jacobean and Georgian styles,

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the flamboyancy of 19th century Regency England, rigorous Victorian suburban, artistic Aesthetics Movement and Art Nouveau sinuosity.

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A delightful coffee shop facing the herb garden makes the transition into the newest part of the building via the delightfully restrained chapel where we are confronted by accurately reproduced midcentury rooms and a reduced but highly representative collection of seating furniture spanning 4 centuries.

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They have also recently restored one of the traditonal almshouses which is now open for visit (see link for opening times.) In it we can see how, irony of the change of times, what used to be decoration out of necesity is now perceived as trendy minimalism. (pictures below courtesy of Geffrye Museum)

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The Geffrye is more than a museum. It’s a delightful well of knowledge for all those interested in the life of the home in England over the past centuries, a heaven of tranquillity in the middle of busy Hoxton And it is free admittance too!

Have you been to the Geffrye Museum? Let us know your thoughts on the box below.

All pictures © Carlos Garcia Interiors Ltd unless stated otherwise

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