Dennis Severs' House
18 Folgate Street, London, United Kingdom
www.dennissevershouse.co.uk - 020 7247 4013
Dennis Severs' House London Reviews
A unique 18th century experience Aug 05, 2013
To understand this attraction you have to first learn about its former owner. Dennis Severe (1948-1999) was an artist who lived at this location and invited people to experience his 18th century dwelling. He intentionally kept everything modern out of his residence, and staged each room with collections. After his death his legacy lives on in the daily exhibition of his "still-life drama" comparable to performance art.
When you visit this place you're asked to stroll through quietly. No conversation! You're supposed to follow a family of Huguenots through their space, and it's supposed to feel like they just left the room.
When I walked through the rooms the things that struck me the most were the smells which are more noticeable, because of your dulled out sense of sight and hearing. It's relatively dark and very quiet. The subdued lighting adds greatly to the experience. The house is lit with only candles. You're not allowed to bring large bags inside, because you might knock something over.
You stroll through each room, and notice things like a half eaten strawberry or a tea cup with steaming liquid in it. The curators go in between groups of visitors to keep the illusion alive.
It's a very unique experience and for once I wasn't sad about not being able to take pictures, as it would have distracted me from the main purpose of this place. It's supposed to tell a story. Every visitor is invited to experience the place differently and make connections to the items displayed and the faint sounds played in some of the rooms. If there is a sound it's there for a reason. Cannon blasts to symbolize the passing of a king. A sounds of horse-drawn carriages passing by the windows. There are little notecards displayed with further clues to what is happening in each room.
The eeriest thing was a real black cat which lives here and is allowed to roam freely. She scared the hell out of me sitting on the top of the stairs staring me down as I was walking up.
You walk through the basement, several bedrooms, seating rooms, a kitchen, and the servant quarters on the top floor, where the faint smell of a chamber pot is the only unpleasant memory I have of this place.
This is a very unique experience, and I highly recommend you check it out!
Part of the One week in London travel blog
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Step back into time Apr 22, 2012
This house brings you back to history. You walk around rooms from maybe a 100 years old, but it feels as if the owners just stept out and will be back in minutes. There is tea in the cups and half a biscuit next to it. You can hear sounds everywhere and different smells in different rooms. There is a lot to see and hear. And just a lot of fun.
You have to wait outside the house, which is a small street, and are welcomed with some introductions, like: try to wisper so every visitor can really use all their sences. The house has several floors and really gives a good look of the way people lived in those times. It's all a bit strange but very intriguing. Feels like a time capsule.
You can find the house at:18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, London
Never expierenced an old building this way Oct 13, 2009
I think 12 ponds is expensive, but luckely the money didn't came out of my wallet directly.
This house is weird to say the least. There's a life cat walking around, and all the other objects, from the parret up to the fruits and cups of coffee on the tables are... fake! Only real other moving things are the groupmates and the burning candles.
First floor is furnished as if the owners are rich and have left the rooms in a big hurry. Fallen cups and a decorated, but used, dining table are in the room. You can still hear the inhabitants, but you can't see them.
Upstairs are the rooms for the maids and the kitchen. Also just leaved alone. Kettle's still on the stove. Smells and noices from cooking on the entire floor, but no people to be found.
Last floor is again empty, but this time a wice desision, it's war and the bombs are falling. Windy because of cracks in the rooftop (fake ofcourse).
Nice to know... although the rooms seem to be old, there are modern day things in the house. A phone, pc and shower are hidden. Maybe you can find them?
Part of the London travel blog
A jump into the XVIII century Oct 17, 2008
Maybe Dennis Severs House is not a very known place for people that visit London for the first time. It is located some way isolated from other turistic attractions but not quite far from Spitalfield Market so if you go to Spitalfield Market to see or buy something, you should stop at 18 Folgate Street to have the chance to step onto History.
When you ring the doorbell of Dennis Severs House time goes back to the early XVIII century. The person that receives you will tell you to be quiet and keep alert your ear and your smell. Photos are not allowed.
Suddenly you feel you have entered in a Painting or a Set of a film, all the house is as it was centuries ago, the creaking of the floor, the smell of the fireplace, the sound of an old clock, is just amazing. Each room is like to be exactly in that time, there is non electricity, just candles. The kitchen is one of the most interesting places in the house, there is the fire burning, cooking recipes, pots, dishes, eggs, all things you can imagine, but not like you can find it in a museum, here things seemed to be left just a few minutes ago.
Although there is a 3 floor building, you can spend an hour there because there are myriad of details, sounds and smells. You can see the owners bedroom -separated wife and husband- and the child one. Upstairs the last floor was for the servants and it's like a Charles Dickens description of miserable places in his novels. The ceiling has leakings, the bed is dirty and the mattres too old to sleep on it. That was the "fortune" of the servants. And as I said before, everything is like just recently used.
Dennis Severs was an american artist established in London in the early '70s. He bought the 18 Folgate Street House and his goal was to give the House its original appearance and atmosphere. And I think he made it.
The access to the house is about 8 pounds, is not cheap but I think is worthy visit.
Website is also very interesting www.dennisseverhouse.co.uk
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