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What Is the Geffrye Museum?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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The Geffrye Museum of the Home is a museum dedicated to the family and home life of the English people. Located in the London suburb of Shoreditch, this museum shows visitors how a middle-class British family would have lived throughout different stages of history. The Geffrye Museum includes rooms decorated in the style of historic periods from the start of the 17th century through the present. It is also home to a series of gardens as well as a preserved medical facility from the 18th century. This museum is designed to appeal to people of all ages, and includes special programs and exhibits for children.

Part of the appeal of the Geffrye Museum is the well-preserved historic structures on the property. The museum displays are housed in a series of 18th century almshouses, which were facilities used to house poor or elderly citizens when they were ill. The Geffrye Museum was opened to the public in 1914, and named for Sir Robert Geffrye, who funded the construction of the original almshouses on the site. In 1998, the museum added a new wing to keep up with the rising numbers of visitors. Funding for another major addition was granted in 2011.

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At the Geffrye Museum, visitors wander through a series of 11 rooms. Each room is decorated to capture the style of a certain period of history, from 1600 to the 21st century. The rooms include furnishings and objects used in daily life during each of these historical eras. This area of the facility is free to the public.

In addition to the 11 rooms, guests can tour a restored almshouse from the 1700s. This space is set up just like it would have been during the 18th century, when it served as a living space for the sick, elderly, or infirm. Visitors who wish to view special exhibits or attend seasonal events at the Geffrye Museum are required to pay a nominal fee. These exhibits include displays dedicated to daily life throughout British history. The museum is also well-known for its holiday events, when the rooms are decorated with traditional holiday decor.

During the summer months, guests can also tour the museum's walled gardens, which house both flowers and herbs. The museum is closed on Mondays, though guests can enjoy an online virtual tour at anytime by visiting the museum website. Visitors to the Geffrye Museum have access to a cafe and gift shop, which sells museum memorabilia as well as reproductions of historic items found in many of the rooms.

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