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[personal profile] smallhobbit
This was suggested by [personal profile] complicatedlight  as something different to do when in London.

Initially, the opening times looked not to be promising for this one, but then I realised we were coming up to London, and because it was half term we would be leaving after midday, rather than late afternoon, so I suggested to SM that we go.  As an aside, I also got to travel on a tube line I'd never been on before: the Waterloo and City Line.  (It only shuttles between Waterloo and Bank, so not generally of any use).

Dennis Severs House is in Folgate Street, not far from Liverpool Street Station.  There are various rooms, which are set out as if the family who lived there have just left for a few minutes.  It was originally occupied by a family of Huguenot silk-weavers, who arrived there in 1724.  The visitor walks through the house in silence, moving from room to room, beginning in the basement.  As they move through the house time moves on, so that the top floor is set at the time of William IV's death, when Victoria came to the throne.

It's a very interesting concept.  Obviously the articles in the room cannot be handled, but for me there was a strong wish to do so.  I also felt drawn to sit on the chairs and therefore take part more fully in the scene.  The idea being the visitor experiences the scene as if they had just dropped into the house.

The average visit length is 45 minutes, we spent 75 there, taking our time, looking at everything.  SM was very taken with it.  I enjoyed it, but felt very much an observer, rather than a participant, one step outside what I think was the intention.  But it was well worth visiting, and if anyone is looking for something different to do in London, I can recommend it.
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