The Geffrye Museum
Kingsland Road, E2
Anyone interested in home interiors through the ages will delight in the Geffrye Museum, a small but enjoyable exhibition set in former almshouses in London's East End.
The museum, at the heart of what used to be the cabinet making district of the city, presents a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day complete with mantelpieces, doorways, carvings and panelling. A great deal of care has been taken to add the sort of incidental detail which makes the rooms look lived in and every item on show is clearly listed on helpful guides.
The Geffrye Museum is named after Sir Robert Geffrye, Lord Mayor of London and Master of the Ironmongers' Company, who founded the almshouses in 1715. A suitably grand statue of him, complete with long wig, still stands below the clock tower at the building's main entrance.
As well as the period rooms, the Museum is notable for its comprehensive reference library and furniture trade archive. Anyone with a personal or professional interest in furniture can apply to see these records.
* Extensive new gardens have been planted at the Geffrye.
The Geffrye Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm. Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, 12pm - 5pm. It is closed on Mondays, except Bank Holidays, and on Good Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
Entrance is free, but donations are welcome as this is a charitable trust.
Those wishing to view the reference library and furniture trade archive should write to: The Geffrye Museum, Kingland Road, London E2 8EA.
Bethnal Green (Central Line)
Copyright © Jan Collie 2002
Published on Britannia by permission of the author.
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