19 Princelet Street

Museums, History Brick Lane Free
5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
19 princelet st.jpg
© Joel Pike/19 Princelet Street

Housed in a Grade II* listed building, an unrestored 1719 Huguenot silk merchant’s home which also contains a concealed synagogue dating from 1869, the Museum of Immigration and Diversity is London’s ‘museum of conscience’. Suitcases and Sanctuary, an exhibition made by children, explores the refugee experience in Spitalfields, from French Huguenot, Irish, Jewish, Afro-Caribbean, Somali and Bangladeshi viewpoints. The museum is only open to the public a few times a year, although it’s sometimes possible to arrange group visits one month in advance.


Venue name: 19 Princelet Street
Address: 19 Princelet St
E1 6QH
Price: Donations encouraged
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

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This building doesn't look like much but everyone should come here to learn about immigration in this country and about how we have consistently followed the pattern of abusive attacks to every refugee group that has fled here for safety before eventually accepting them and moving on to hate the next supposed 'different job stealing scroungers'...from the first Huguenot refugees from France, to the highly abused Irish during the Potato famine...the Jews...the Pakistanis....the Somalians...Iraqis. It goes on and on and in this house where many immigrants lived you see it all. There is a lot to make you think behind these doors. Although I'm a descendent from an Irish immigrant so maybe I'm biased. Potatoes are life man!! ;)

The building itself is beautiful but in desperate need of repair. Indeed it seems to be held up by bits of scaffolding in numerous places. The volunteers at the museum are trying to fix things but obvious huge funds are needed and I really think that this is a very worthy cause as in essence this building is a living museum that shows how varying immigrants that have joined our nation have had to cope with their new lives but more importantly how they've helped to cultural improve our country.

The museum is well done with little interactive areas and explanations of both what you can see and the story of immigration in this country. I only spent half an hour there as it's a very small building but this museum provokes thoughts and feelings and that's what museums should do so I left impressed. Definitely worth half an hour of your life.

They want to open the site more often but currently it's rarely open to the public without pre-booking. Check their website basically.

My one gripe...they don't allow photos inside as so many attractions are now doing. In this photo heavy culture I really think this is the wrong way to go. Just charge people a couple of quid to take pics like a lot of places abroad do. You raise money, your attraction is heavily promoted for free on social media and the visitors are happy. It's win-win!

It's not open very often, but if you get the chance to visit here for anything, jump at it. In this era of corporate sanitisation, it's amazing to have such an unreconstructed slice of old London extant in the middle of the city.

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