Dennis Severs’ House, London, UK
Dennis Severs’ House is not a museum but a private home that opens to the public as a time capsule to London’s past. This unique “art-installation” may not be for everyone but it will definitely be memorable . Spitafields market, one of the finest surviving Victorian market halls in London, is a must-see, so we recommend you combine both experiences on your day out.
Severs restored his early 18th-century home, in the true sense of the word. Immersing himself in the period by living without electricity, furnishing and decorating it with items from the 18th and 19th century, he has recreated scenes of Georgian and Victorian domestic life in each room. Since his death in 1999, the house has been open to visitors, who, as they enter, are asked to imagine that they have just walked into the home of the Jervis family, Huguenot silk weavers who are in situ, but just out of sight.
As you wander through the 10 rooms and up and down the creaking stairs you get an extraordinary feeling of going back in time. There are half-eaten plates of food on tables, with unfinished glasses of wine, jackets thrown over chairs, smells of cooking drifting up from the kitchen and the sound of distant voices. Visitors are asked to walk in silence through rooms both intimate and formal, absorbing what Severs described as “a collection of atmospheres: moods that harbour the light and the spirit of various ages”.
Dennis Severs’ House is located at 18 Folgate Street in Spitalfields. Just before his death, Dennis Severs bequeathed it to the Spitalfields Historic Trust, a charity dedicated to Georgian houses.
Click here to find learn more about access. You’ll either love it, or you wont!