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“Very interesting and engaging”

Benjamin Franklin House
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$79.35*
and up
London Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Entry to Over 60 Attractions
Ranked #362 of 1,694 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed December 1, 2013

I didn't realize before I went that you couldn't see the house on your own- you have to book onto the tour. I really enjoyed it- it was fascinating and well worth the money. I would definitely recommend it!

1  Thank DH732013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 - 159 of 232 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

The Benjamin Franklin House, surprisingly, is the only surviving residence of Franklin, which made it all the more appealing to a couple of Americans visiting London. The House is a well-restored Georgian house near Trafalgar Square, but has only minimal furniture since there are apparently no records of which furniture Franklin had in his house. Instead, the operators of the House offer architectural tours of the House on Mondays, school tours on Tuesdays, and "Historical Experience" tours the rest of the week. The spareness of the furnishings allows guides freer rein to show photographs and offer interpretative commentary about Franklin and his life in London. We did the "Historical Experience" tour, which I found more informative about Franklin than I'd expected. Well worth the £7 adult ticket price, and children under 16 are free.

Thank Jonathan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2013

I have worked within 3 minutes walk of this site for years and not been aware of it. But today I was making a short cut from Charing Cross to the Hungerford bridge with my kids (aged 6 & 8 ) and my mother-in-law, when we came across the building and decided to join the 3.15pm Historical Experience show - very pleased we did. We didn’t know much about Benjamin Frankin but we certainly do now. The method of learning is great and helps to remember the great things that he contributed to the world. The kids were really well behaved during the show but were restless towards the end. Later in the evening they were very enthusiastic when the re-lived the experience with their father. I would like to pop back one lunch time for the Architectural Tour.

2  Thank MitchieTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

I think that every American should visit this site. Although the house is not furnished, one is able to walk through the very rooms that Franklin used while living in London. I was greeted by a very friendly staff, and one of them took two other Americans and me on the house tour. She was friendly and informative. It was well worth the visit.

1  Thank Dan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013 via mobile

You don't know what to expect on this tour going in. It really was not his house, he rented. Then it is some actress playing a role to explain some part of Franklin's life with really no meaningful facts. The story is mostly writers creative liberty. There is nothing in the house and you move from empty room to empty room looking at some stupid video. Bad, bad.

3  Thank rlfromm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BenFranklinHouse, Manager at Benjamin Franklin House, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

Dear rlfromm, Thank you for sharing your feedback. As we state during the theatrical Historical Experience, Franklin was a lodger at 36 Craven Street, but as one historian put it, he was ostensibly the head of the household, living in serene comfort and affection. The actress plays the part of Polly Hewson, his landlady’s daughter who became a second daughter to Franklin. After the Revolutionary War, she moved with her family to Philadelphia to be close to Franklin and thanks to Ben, all her descendants became American. When Benjamin Franklin House opened to the public for the first time on Franklin’s 300th birthday in 2006, members of the Hewson family journeyed from America to share in the celebration. So while he didn’t own the building, it is the only surviving residence on either side of the Atlantic where he lived and worked. We cover key elements of Franklin’s rich life in London based on the historical record (the Papers of Benjamin Franklin catalogued by Yale University). Franklin’s words are his own and where possible, so too the other characters that feature on the show. Because Franklin was detailed about what he sent from the House but did not elaborate on his furnishings at Craven Street, we’ve chosen to leave the spaces spare so that they are rooms he would recognise were he to return today

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