Did you know that the only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin is actually in London? It’s located on Craven Street and you can visit it!
Franklin lived and worked here for nearly sixteen years (1757-1762; 1764-1775) when he was stationed in London as chief colonial diplomat. The house itself is from around 1730 and is Grade I listed.
To be fair isn’t much left *in* the house itself but that’s made up for by the two tour options you can get with your visit. Firstly, the tour I did which was the “historical experience” which featured an actor portraying characters associated with the house telling the story of Franklin in London with the aid of lights, sounds and projected images. It really brings the space alive and for £9.50 it’s definitely worth checking out.
They’ll also show off some of the original features of the house which include it’s original floorboards, ceilings and staircase. You can also do a separate architectural tour that’ll dive into these Georgian features a bit more for £7.50.
Benjamin Franklin led an interesting life to say the least and the tour helps shine a light on some of the things that he got up to here in London which included his passion for science innovation. In 1998 the house went under restoration and renovation to prepare it for becoming a museum. While excavating they actually found the remains of ten bodies, which of course sparked a few conspiracies about the eccentric character.
Further investigation revealed that they were linked to William Hewson, an early anatomist who lived alongside Franklin in the house for two years. Hewson had been secretly working with cadavers due to its illegal nature at the time. It is believed that Franklin knew about this work but that he was not involved with it. You could just imagine how it must have got the cogs in his inquisitive mind moving though.
Learn how to book a tour at Benjamin Franklin’s London home here.
This article has been adapted from an Instragram post by the writer. If you would like to read more like this then follow him at @Scott_RebNoise.