The Geffrye museum, situated on Kingsland road in East London, explores the home and home life from 1600 to the present day. It reminds me of a historic Ikea only you cant enter the rooms an try out the furniture.
The museum is set in beautiful 18th-century Grade I-listed almshouses of the Ironmongers’ Company and is surrounded by a lush green at the front and period and herb gardens to the rear.
The outside space
We started our tour by entering around the side to see the herb garden which is only open to the public between April and October.
As well as being full of fragrant green herbs such as sage and rosemary there is also spots of colour to brighten it up.
Can you spot the miserable 12 and 15 year olds who are not amused at being taken to explore a herb garden? Luckily they were a bit more enthusiastic about the inside exhibitions of the museum!
Inside the exhibition
The exhibition itself is full of period rooms set up like they would be in different eras. As well as just having the rooms there are also cabinets full of historic memorabilia, paintings, books that you can browse and interactive activities.
If you have smaller children then they can follow a trail answering questions such as how many windows are there in an Edwardian drawing room? Obviously my children were too mature (I wont mention that they bickered with each other throughout the whole trip) for such an activity!
As you reach the end of the first exhibition which is all about historical homes you are greeted with a bright open space that houses the shop and café.
This then leads onto the modern part of the exhibition which shows homes from the 20th century, it also has a downstairs area where you can answer questions such as ‘how do you feel about housework?’ and stick the answers on the wall. I think this area is mainly used for education purposes.
It is a shame that the first part of the exhibition isn’t as spacious as the second part but I suppose as a listed building they are limited to what they can do with it. I also found it strange that there wasn’t an exit at the end and you had to make your way back to the start to get out.
My primary school is not far from the Geffrey museum and I remember visiting it on school trips as a child. It was lovely to go back 30 years later with my own children and see how it has developed and I can say it is still as interesting as it was back then!
Have you ever visited the Geffrye museum?