The Museum of the Home takes visitors on a trip back in time through a series of recreated parlors and drawing rooms that offer a glimpse of how tastes, styles, and life in general have evolved among the English middle class over the course of several centuries.
When it was first established in 1914, the museum’s intent was to offer the tradesmen of London’s East End furniture district a historical perspective on their craft by showcasing examples of “technical and artistic excellence,” according to the museum’s website. As the neighborhood’s woodworking community dwindled, however, the museum turned its attention to the growing middle class population, adapting its collections into a series of rooms that reflect the distinct decorative tastes of various historical periods, beginning with 1630 and working almost up to present day with a replica 1990s-era loft style apartment of the sort that have become a staple of London city life. The museum is also known for its period gardens which likewise demonstrate changing landscaping sensibilities throughout English history.
The museum is housed in what was originally a series of almshouses. From 1714 through 1911 this institution was home to around 50 poor pensioners. One of these residences has since been restored to reflect its original appearance, giving visitors an idea of the conditions in which many of the city’s elderly poor lived.
Know Before You Go
The Museum of the Home is located in the heart of Shoreditch, East London, directly behind Hoxton train station on Kingsland Road. Admission to the museum's 11 period rooms, and herb and period gardens is free. The Period Rooms Tour audio guide is available from the reception desk for £3.50, with a free version available for blind and partially sighted visitors.