Benjamin Franklin House

© Benjamin Franklin House
Trafalgar Square
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The house where Benjamin Franklin – scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor and Founding Father of the United States – lived for nearly 16 years between 1757 and 1775 has recently been restored. It's home to a centre for academic research concerning Benjamin Franklin and a science centre where school parties can replicate some of his famous experiments. The house is not a museum in the conventional sense, but it can be explored as part of a 'Historical Experience Show' during which an actress in character as the daughter of Franklin's landlady Margaret Stevenson conducts small groups around the Grade I-listed building, which is beautifully restored but unfurnished apart from the odd chair or desk. Projections and recorded sound conjure up Franklin's London years, recount his many achievements and flesh out his personal life. It's a short, intense experience (the tours last around 45 minutes); you'll come away with a strong sense of the man and the times in which he lived. As an alternative, tours on Mondays focus on the history of the building. Talks and family activities related to the house's history are often organised.
Venue name: Benjamin Franklin House
Address: 36 Craven St
Opening hours: Historical Experience Show noon-5pm Wed-Sun, shows begin at noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3.15pm and 4.15pm; historical tour noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3.15pm, 4.15pm Mon; booking essential
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross/Embankment
Price: Historical Experience Show £7, £5 concs, under-16s free; historical tour £3.50
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