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“Definitely not a Disneyland experience.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Benjamin Franklin House

Benjamin Franklin House
36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5N, England (Charing Cross / Trafalgar Square)
+44 (0)207 839 2006
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Ranked #278 of 853 Attractions in London
Type: Historic Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Benjamin Franklin House is the world's only remaining Franklin home. For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, Dr Benjamin Franklin - scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, Founding Father of the United States and more - lived behind its doors. The Historical Experience presents the excitement and uncertainty of Franklin's London years using his historic rooms as staging for a drama which seamlessly integrates live performance, cutting edge lighting, sound and projection technology.
Raleigh, NC
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Definitely not a Disneyland experience.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

There are so many things to see in London, but if you are an American--perhaps even if you are not--this is an emotionally moving experience that probably shouldn't be missed. The house is easy to find, and located between two major tube stations and just steps from Trafalgar Square.

If you don't care for history, or if you wish to see period furnishings or glam, yes, there are better venues in London. This house, by contrast, feels as if Franklin just loaded up his trunks and left yesterday. The beauty is in the purity of the place. It has not been dolled up or over-done, and is very representative how American's fathers lived. The unadorned walls and floors just speak to you. It is almost as if Franklin himself speaks to you.

We visit this house every time we are in London because for us, it is not to be missed. It is a shame that this is the only home of Franklin's that has survived. Americans should see it, support it, and thank the Brits for preserving it.

Visited September 2012
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Webster Groves, Missouri
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“So many other worthwhile things to do in London”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

Please give this one a miss. It is enough to stand in front of the house and read the plaque. Inside, the tour is given completely in the dark in a totally unfurnished home. As the group shuffles from room trying not to bump into each other, there is no mention as to what the purpose of the rooms are. Is it a bedroom? A dining room? A parlor? Can't tell. A film plays out on the walls in each room with a few interesting tidbits. We learn that Franklin invented a stove to save energy - but no mention is made of the one stove in the house as to whether it is a Franklin-style stove or not. This tour could be so much better starting with turning on a few lights and letting live people speak in each room.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, CT
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“What A Jewel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

I know there are no artifacts of Ben Franklin but visiting the house and the unique way the story of Ben Franklin in London is presented makes this a very worthwhile visit. It has only been open for a few years and is staffed primarily by volunteers which is pretty impressive. They hope to be able to find period pieces but while that would add some authenticity it would be at the cost of easy movement by visitors and the young woman doing the presentation. I thought the audio visual and live presentation was quite clever and provided a lot of information about Franklin's time in London. You need to check when the tours are available (about once an hour). If you have to wait a bit, there is a great bar in the Charing Cross Hotel around the corner.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Very interesting!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

I've read mixed reviews on the Benjamin Franklin House here on trip advisor. No, it is not a "traditional" museum, there are no artifacts to speak of. But, instead, it is a very interesting audio, visual presentation mixed with live performance as you learn of Ben's life in London, and of his interaction with Mrs. Stevenson and her daughter Polly. I definetely recommend the historical interpretation tour as a way to spend an enjoyable hour a little bit away from the hustle and hectic of tourist London. The Franklin house is very easy to reach via the tube, and is a very short walk from the Embankment tub station. A must see for Franklin fans.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Sad”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

I didn't. Read trip advisor, so I wasn't at all prepared. The house has NOTHING of franklins in it. It could be any house on any street that you put up a plaque.
This has potential to be great but they have a lot of work to do first.
If you have extra time in London and get in free do it, but if there is anything else you might want to visit put this at the bottom of your list.

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