Thursday, 31 January 2013

Geffrye Museum, Hoxton


On Saturday I visited the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton after my parents went a few weeks ago and recommended it.

Located right next to the station the museum was very easy to reach on the London Overground and it was only my second Overground venture north of the river since I've been back from Australia (I'm not very adventurous I know).

I'd only absorbed from my parents that they enjoyed the museum, but had failed to take on board what type of museum it was. It turns out the "The Geffrye Museum depicts the quintessential style of English middle-class (houses)... from 1600 to the present day."

Each house / period in time had two rooms of the museum dedicated to it. The first room had a large cut away drawing of the house giving details of how it was built, typical layout and what the different rooms were used for. The second room of the museum for each period in time was decorated as the drawing / living room from the relevant period.

I was a big fan of the large cut away drawings as it gave you a real sense of what the house was like. It struck me that the design of the standard London terrace was only tweaked slightly over several hundred years as the houses from the seventeen to nineteen hundreds had quite a lot of similarities in design (even if the internal furnishings / heating / plumbing were changing).

I'm also not quite sure how 'middle class' is defined as some of the early houses looked quite grand to me! I suppose the last century saw a huge explosion of the middle classes and before then the middle class was quite small.

The was a lot of charm to the Geffrye museum, not least the building it is housed in and gardens. I also liked how they had different pieces of furniture that you are invited to sit in and fabrics / floor coverings that you could touch. Well worth an adventure on the London Overground to visit.

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