My London #13
#13. The Geffrye Museum
An oasis hidden in plain sight, amongst all the vietnamese restaurants and art shops of the Kingsland Road. For two centuries, these 18th century almshouses provided homes for poor Ironmonger Co pensioners. But since 1914 its been the home of a museum. The Geffrye Museum explores the development of the home from the 1600s to present day. Its white windows and green ivy cut nicely against the dark brick facade, and the terraced U-shape it forms provides a leafy courtyard to laze about in. But if you’re at all green fingered, forget the front courtyard, its the gardens at the back that you should gravitate to – period gardens from the 17th century on, and a traditional english herb garden full of medicinal and culinary plants. The buildings are all grade-I listed, but the museum is fundraising for a £15m extension that will see it open up and grow its exhibition spaces.