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Famous London People Museums and Houses

So Many Famous London Residents

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London has many museums dedicated to its famous past residents where you can find out more about these iconic figures of London's history.

1. Florence Nightingale Museum

Florence Nightingale Museum
© Florence Nightingale Museum

Following a £1.4million redevelopment, the Florence Nightingale Museum reopened on 12 May 2010, the birthday of this iconic Briton know as the 'Lady With the Lamp'. The transformed Museum tells the real story of the woman behind the legend as well as how modern nursing began.

Don't Miss: The stethoscope audio guides!

2. Benjamin Franklin House

Benjamin Franklin House Historical Experience
© Benjamin Franklin House

Benjamin Franklin House in London was his home between 1757 and 1775 and is the only surviving former home of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The rooms have been restored but are mostly empty, so how can this be brought to life for visitors to imagine what is was like when Benjamin Franklin lived there? There is a unique Historical Experience tour idea with an actress interacting with audio and video projections.

Don't Miss: The Historical Experience Tour.

3. Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum
Photographer: Justin Barton

Leighton House was the home and studio of leading Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton and has undergone a £1.6 million refurbishment to bring it closer than ever to its original appearance when Lord Leighton died in 1896.

The whole building is wonderful but the room most have heard of is the Arab Hall; one of the many extensions the building received over 30 years of make it into a 'Palace of Art'.

Don't Miss: The Arab Hall.

4. Charles Dickens Museum

Charles Dickens' Study, Charles Dickens Museum
© Laura Porter

This is the only surviving London home of Charles Dickens. He lived there between 1837 and 1839 while writing The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, and Barnaby Rudge. He moved in with his wife Catherine, his eldest son Charley, his brother Fred and his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth. While staying at 48 Doughty Street, his two daughters Mary and Katey were born, and his sister-in-law died at only seventeen years old.

Don't Miss: Charles Dickens' Study.

5. L. Ron Hubbard's Fitzroy House

Fitzroy House
© Laura Porter

Fitzroy House, in the 1950s, was the London home and office of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and Scientology. The 1791 restored building has four floors of exhibits of his life and works, and although tours are only available via appointment, they are completely free.

Don't Miss: The first floor was home to George Bernard Shaw and his mother in 1881-82.

6. Handel House Museum

Handel House Museum London
© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Handel House Museum in central London celebrates Handel's life and works, displaying portraits of Handel and his contemporaries in finely restored Georgian interiors and bringing live music back to his house.

The Handel House Museum was home to the baroque composer George Frideric Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759. This landmark address is where Handel composed some of the greatest music in history including Messiah, Zadok the Priest and Music for the Royal Fireworks, and died on 14 April 1759.

Don't Miss: No.23 was Jimi Hendrix's home too.

7. Dr. Johnson's House

Dr Johnson's House
© Laura Porter

Dr Johnson's House was built in 1700 and has retained many original features. It was the home and workplace for Samuel Johnson from 1748-1759, and was where he compiled the first comprehensive English dictionary.

Don't Miss: The garret workroom where Johnson compiled the first English dictionary.

8. Sherlock Holmes Museum

Sherlock Holmes Museum
© Laura Porter
Okay, I know Sherlock Holmes wasn't real but there is a museum dedicated to this fictional Victorian detective, and his sidekick Doctor Watson, who were created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The building is now protected so has be preserved which makes it a fascinating temple to Victoriana as well as detective story fans.

9. Freud Museum

The Freud Museum in Hampstead was the family home of Sigmund Freud after his family fled the Nazis in Austria in 1938. It remained the family home until Anna Freud, the youngest daughter, died in 1982. The centrepiece of the museum is Freud's study, preserved just as it was during his lifetime.

Don't Miss: Freud's psychoanalytic couch.

10. Keats House

Keats House is where the poet John Keats lived from 1818 to 1820, and is the setting that inspired some of Keats’s most memorable poetry. Here, Keats wrote 'Ode to a Nightingale', and fell in love with Fanny Brawne, the girl next door. It was from this house that he travelled to Rome, where he died of tuberculosis aged just 25.

Don't Miss: Keats' handwritten letters.

11. Thomas Carlyle's House

This lovely Chelsea townhouse, just off the King's Road, was the home of Thomas and Jane Carlyle in Victorian times. The couple moved down from Scotland in 1834 to a London area that was popular with writers and artists so they often had visitors. Thomas Carlyle had his study in the attic and made modifications to achieve more natural light and to lessen the street noise so it didn't interrupt his writing. Guests can visit all the floors of the house and the walled garden.
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