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Almshouses

1780s room in the restored almshouse. Copyright: Peter Dazeley. Photograph Peter Dazeley.

1780s almshouse room - copyright Peter Dazeley. Photography Peter Dazeley

The Geffrye is closed for a two-year development but the restored almshouse is still open for tours on specific days.

The Geffrye is set in almshouses built in 1714 by the Ironmongers' Company, with a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye, twice master of the Company and former Lord Mayor of London.  For almost two hundred years the almshouses provided homes for around fifty poor pensioners. They are now recognised for their historical importance as Grade I listed buildings. 

By the early 20th century Hoxton had become one of the most overcrowded and unsavoury parts of London, and the Ironmongers' Company sold its Kingsland Road property to relocate the almshouses to a healthier area.  The site was bought by London County Council who wanted to provide public open space in such a densely populated area.  Leading members of the Arts and Crafts movement petitioned the Council not to demolish the almshouses, and they were converted into a museum which opened in 1914.

Visit one of the Geffrye's 18th-century almshouses which has been taken back to its original condition, offering a rare glimpse into the lives of London's poor and elderly in former times. Tours are led by our knowledgeable team of volunteers. 

Weekdays

Tours are available on the following days:

  • Tuesdays: 25 September, 9 and 23 October, 13 and 27 November and 11 December 2018
  • Wednesdays: 19 September, 3 and 17 October, 7 and 21 November and 5 and 19 December 2018
  • Timed entries are at 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm
  • You can now book a ticket for the weekday tours in advance through Eventbrite. A number of tickets are reserved on each tour for sale on the day, these are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Weekends

Tours are available on the following days:

  • Saturdays: 22 September** (free drop-in 11am - 4pm as part of Open House London), 13 and 27 October, 10 and 24 November and 8 and 22 December 2018
  • Timed entries on Saturdays are at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm
  • Places are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Themed object handling tours will run on Saturday afternoons at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

  • Saturday 13 October - Food Preparation and Eating
  • Saturday 27 October - Keeping Home
  • Saturday 10 November - Lighting and Heating
  • Saturday 24 November - Food Preparation and Eating
  • Saturday 8 December - Keeping Home
  • Saturday 22 December - Lighting and Heating


Important information

Tours are priced at £5 per person. For Friends of the Geffrye, disabled visitors (and their companion) and children under 16 tours are free. 

Get a coffee and cake for £5 from our neighbours at the Hoxton Cabin, by showing your stamped ticket when you finish your tour. 

Please note that owing to the nature of the building, the restored historic almshouse has no step free access, however visitors can view a virtual tour here. 


Group visits to the almshouse

For advance booking for groups of 8 or more you can book directly via Eventbrite or contact bookings@geffrye-museum.org.uk or 020 7739 9893.

Please note that a maximum of 10 spaces per tour can be reserved for pre-booked groups; if your group is more than 10 we can split your group over 2 tours. This allows us to keep 6 spaces for other visitors that turn up on the day.

Unfortunately we are unable to take advance bookings for tours on Saturdays.


Tickets are available on the day from the museum's front desk. Numbers are limited and tickets allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. (Please note that general museum admission is free).

  • Adults - £2.50 
  • Friends of the Geffrye, disabled visitors (and their companion) and children under 16 - Free

Tickets are available on the day from the museum's front desk. Numbers are limited and tickets allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. (Please note that general museum admission is free).

  • Adults - £2.50 
  • Friends of the Geffrye, disabled visitors (and their companion) and children under 16 - Free

An almshouse room in 1790 photographed by Morley von Sternberg

1780s almshouse room - photography Morley von Sternberg

The Geffrye is closed for a two-year development, but the restored almshouse is still open for tours on specific days. 

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The Geffrye is set in almshouses built in 1714 by the Ironmongers' Company, with a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye, twice master of the Company and former Lord Mayor of London.  For almost two hundred years the almshouses provided homes for around fifty poor pensioners. They are now recognised for their historical importance as Grade I listed buildings. 

By the early 20th century Hoxton had become one of the most overcrowded and unsavoury parts of London, and the Ironmongers' Company sold its Kingsland Road property to relocate the almshouses to a healthier area.  The site was bought by London County Council who wanted to provide public open space in such a densely populated area.  Leading members of the Arts and Crafts movement petitioned the Council not to demolish the almshouses, and they were converted into a museum which opened in 1914.

One of the almshouses has been restored and is open to visitors (see dates and times below). It has been taken back to its original conditions and offers a rare glimpse into the lives of London’s poor and elderly in the 1780s and 1880s. Displays illustrate the history of the almshouses and the people who lived there, as well as philanthropic and social housing in East London.

Tours are available on the following days:

  • Saturdays: 22 September** (free drop-in 11am - 4pm as part of Open House London), 13 and 27 October, 10 and 24 November and 8 and 22 Decemeber 2018
  • Tuesdays: 25 September, 9 and 23 October, 13 and 27 November and 11 December 2018
  • Wednesdays: 19 September, 3 and 17 October, 7 and 21 November and 5 and 19 December 2018

 

Timed entries on Saturdays are 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm

Timed weekday entries are at 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm

Tours are priced at £5 per person.For Friends of the Geffrye, disabled visitors (and their companion) and children under 16 tours are free. 

Get a coffee and cake for £5 from our neighbours at the Hoxton Cabin, by showing your stamped ticket when you finish your tour. 

Places are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. You can now buy weekday tickets in advance via Eventbrite.

Please note that owing to the nature of the building, the restored historic almshouse has no step free access. 


** New Object Handling tours

Themed object handling tours will run on Saturday afternoons at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

  • Saturday 13 October - Food Preparation and Eating
  • Saturday 27 October - Keeping Home
  • Saturday 10 November - Lighting and Heating
  • Saturday 24 November - Food Preparation and Eating
  • Saturday 8 December - Keeping Home
  • Saturday 22 December - Lighting and Heating


Group visits to the almshouse

For advance booking for groups of 8 or more contact bookings@geffrye-museum.org.uk or 020 7739 9893.

Please note that a maximum of 10 spaces per tour can be reserved for pre-booked groups; if your group is more than 10 we can split your group over 2 tours. This allows us to keep 6 spaces for other visitors that turn up on the day.

Unfortunately we are unable to take advance bookings for tours on Saturdays.