Hidden London – Dennis Severs House (Family Life in the early 18th Century)
What is there to say about London that hasn’t already been said? Everybody knows the big ‘stuff’….the main attractions, its immensely long and turbulent history, its extraordinarily diverse and shifting population.
Of course one thing about London that should be emphasised is that there are really a million different Londons, and there are always new hidden treasures to find. Here is an example of a hidden London that is most definitely off the beaten track……
Dennis Severs House, in Spitalfields, East London. When entering this house you are transported back in time to the early 18th century and the lives of the Jervis family, a family of Huguenot silk-traders.
The whole experience, carried out in silence by candlelight and the light from fires, is both powerful and evocative. As you pass through the rooms, it is though the family have just left…there’s a half-eaten meal on a table….voices are seemingly coming from elsewhere in the house….you here children scurrying up stairs….on a table, a book lies open in front of an open fire, it’s a Dickens novel. There’s a mysterious and tangible sense of going back in time and being in the presence of Londoners of a bygone age.
Dennis Severs House:
18 Folgate Street
Spitalfields, London E1
020 7247 4013