The Geffrye Museum
Welcome to the Geffrye Museum, the only museum in the United Kingdom which specialises in the furniture and domestic interiors.
The Geffrye is one of the most enjoyable museums in London and gives a unique opportunity to see how the English homes have developed from the 17th century to the present day. The exhibition is designed as a series of rooms. Each room shows furniture, costumes and interiors of a particular period, for example during the reign of queen Victoria. Looking at how the fashion and scientific progress have gradually developed into the world we know today is very exciting. As you walk along, you can see how the dark and gloomy houses during the period of Henry VIII were gradually replaced by the houses of today with central heating and various electric devices - it is a real walk through time!
The museum uses former almshouses built by Sir Robert Geffrye in 1715. Almshouses were houses for old people who did not have any money. Robert Geffrye was a wealthy and successful merchant who made his fortune through trade with India and China. For his good deeds and success in business, Sir Geffrye even served as a Mayor of London. The Geffrye almshouses were beautiful buildings surrounded by big trees and attractive gardens. For nearly two hundred years the almshouses provided a home for poor pensioners and widows.
The Geffrye almshouses became a museum in 1912 to support and encourage local furniture makers.
Today, the museum is not only a collection of English furniture and interiors but also an active education centre. Children and young people can come here to learn the basics of design, and also take part in theatre shows, lectures and seminars.
The Geffrye museum also has a beautiful herb garden where people can see herbs from many countries and learn how different herbs can be used in medicine, cosmetics and cooking.
© Mary Moor