A museum with a difference. Not just a collection of artefacts in an old house, but an exhibition of changing decor through the ages (including the 50's and 60's) housed in a beautiful Georgian building. Sir Robert Geffrey was born at Landrake, near Saltash, Cornwall and moved to London where he became an eminent East India merchant and was knighted in 1673. He was also Master of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers, appointed a Sheriff of London in 1674 and elected Lord Mayor of London in 1685. Under his bequest 14 almshouses, mainly for widows of ironmongers, were constructed in 1715 in Shoreditch. These almshouses now house the museum. There are two rooms, one from 1780 and one from 1880, which depict live in the almshouse (early council flats) from those eras.
The permanent displays feature 11 rooms in complete period decor from 1600 through 2000. These rooms cover such aspects as floors, furniture, heating, lighting, ornaments, pictures, textiles and domestice life. It is fascinating to observe the evolution of this principle area in our lives. There is also a series called 'Documenting Homes' which feature pictures of houses and occupants of homes through the 20th Century, an intriguing record. There are a series of specific collections, such as Christmas Cards (many we would consider bizarre today, Christmas Decorations, domestic technology, satirical prints and wallpaper. This is not just a glimpse into the distant past but for many of us it is a trip down memory lane. The herb and period gardens are closed for the winter but will reopen at the end of March. The restored almshouse will have guided tours on the following days: Saturdays: 6 February, 5 March, 2 April 2016; Tuesdays: 22 December 2015, 12 and 26 January and 9 and 23 February 2016; Wednesdays: 6 and 20 January and 3 and 17 February 2016. The almshouse tour is not wheelchair accessible. There is a mobile website for use during the visit, www.geffrye.mobi, with a few iPads available for loan (plus free wi-fi). Guide dogs are welcome. There are ramps for the entrance and gardens, plus accessible toilets and lifts to higher floors. Induction loops are available. There are a variety of audio guides available for adults, young people and families to explore the museum. A free highlights tour of the period rooms specifically for blind and partially sighted visitors is available from the front desk on arrival. Neck loop and transcript available on request for deaf and hearing impaired visitors.
Location : 136 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch E2 8EA
Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:00.
Cafe closes at 16:45
Tickets : Free
Restored Almshouse Tour £4.00
Tel: 020 7739 9893