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Dennis Severs House

  • Apr 27, 2014 · 11:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Come along on Sunday 27th April at 11am for a trip to Dennis Severs House!

About the house
Built in around 1724, Dennis Severs’ House which is also known as 18 Folgate Street is a Grade II listed Georgian terraced house in Spitalfields.

From 1979 to 1999 it was lived in by Dennis Severs, who gradually recreated the rooms as a time capsule in the style of former centuries.  The rooms are arranged as if they are in use and the occupants have only just left. There are therefore displays of items such as half-eaten bread and background sounds for each room. Severs called this “still life drama”.

Woven through the house is the story of the fictive Jervis family, originally Huguenot silk weavers who lived at the house from 1725 to 1919.  Each room evokes incidental moments in the lives of these imaginary inhabitants.

About Dennis Severs
Dennis Severs (1948 – 1999) was born in the U.S and was drawn to London by what he called “English light”. Severs made his home in the dilapidated property in 1979 and started on a programme to refurbish the ten rooms of the house, each in a different historic style, from the 18th and 19th centuries.  Before he died, Severs bequeathed the house to the Spitalfields Trust.

The motto of the house is: Aut Visum Aut Non! (you either see it or you don’t!).

A visit to the house takes about 1h 30mins, which starts with a brief introduction by the house curator.

Entry to the house is £11 per person (payable on the day) and we will also be the only ones in the house.


Afterwards, we will head to a local pub for a chat over a drink.


Look out for the group sign outside the station at the Bishopsgate exit:


If you can’t see us at the station, please call or text.


Robert
[masked]



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  • Mahbuba

    Amazing! I am so glad I finally managed to see this place.

    May 1, 2014

  • Steve S.

    After seeing the video on you tube the eerie thing is that dennis himself was 'taken over' by the atmosphere of the house and at the end seemed to be trying to escape it ... v weird but fascinating

    April 30, 2014

    • valerie

      He was probably taken by his own game where you don't know anymore where reality starts and ends! Acting too much I suppose!

      April 30, 2014

  • Kevin

    I thought it was a really interesting experience. Severs seemed to turn objects from nouns into verbs by making you wonder what preceded and what came after they were placed. And that feeling of the before and after the action was provided by sights, sounds and smells. As for the idea of no talking, I wish that was at work during the times I visited a place like St. Paul's Cathedral. When it was silent and you closed your eyes, your ears could almost map out how big the dome was by how faint sounds carried. But then when I was up in the Whispering Gallery, everybody was trying to test the whispering acoustic effect at the same time. It just ended up being a babbling noise of irony!

    1 · April 30, 2014

    • valerie

      I really like your message. If absolute silence is often de rigueur in places of worship is not only so that people can pray in peace to God but also in order to enjoy a total personal unision and communion with the holiness or spirituality or essence of the place. Some might see it as a punishment; I welcome it myself as the ultimate clamour to feel the space in its unique solemnity and grandeur.

      April 30, 2014

  • Robert

    First went a few years ago and it's an amazing place with fantastic attention to detail of the various periods. Perhaps more historic houses should adopt the no talking rule, in order to experience the sounds and smells of rooms in an old house.

    1 · April 28, 2014

    • valerie

      True. To feel this space in total silence by using only our sensory senses, is the only way to untangle its intrinsic mystery. And then your sense of observation either "get it or not!".

      April 29, 2014

  • Robert

    Very good documentary made 10 years ago about Dennis Severs and the house - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAjZWZwxg_g, it was made by Dan Cruickshank who is a Spitalfields resident and knew Severs.

    1 · April 28, 2014

    • Mark

      This video explains a lot Robert, thank you. If only other collections, and particularly some very dry and unimaginative museums, understood the real value of creating an atmosphere and experience for their visitors.

      April 29, 2014

    • GARETH

      Some scenes of "At Home with the Georgians" appears to have been filmed there as well, currently on BBC 4 and BBC 2. Great meetup visit. thanks again.

      April 29, 2014

  • Mark

    Loved it

    April 29, 2014

  • Carole A.

    This was a very interesting House. I enjoyed it very much.

    April 29, 2014

  • Genevieve M.

    I wanted to stay longer and look at all the details. .
    You are right Robert, more houses should do this.
    An unforgettable experience, thanks again.
    Genevieve

    April 29, 2014

  • Bernice

    A unique experience and as always great company as well

    April 28, 2014

  • Barbara

    Yes a great time, and it was good to make new friends, especially Sally

    April 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great museum ! Very atmospheric and a multi-sensory experience.

    April 28, 2014

  • Sally G.

    Very good, wonderful atmosphere in house. Met new friend, Joyce, whilst queueing to go in. What a bonus!!!

    April 28, 2014

  • Sally G.

    Very good, fantastic atmosphere in the house. Met a new.friend, Joyce, whilst waiting to go in. Another bonus.

    April 28, 2014

  • Lorraine

    Great experience. Really enjoyable and worth the visit

    April 28, 2014

  • Sheri S.

    Interesting. I did find it a little creepy though.

    April 28, 2014

  • Jennifer

    Excellent!

    April 28, 2014

  • Maria

    Dear Robert, This house is an amazing production. I was speechless, listening in silence, smelling the fragrance, watching his spirit! Truly great visit. Thanks for looking after all bunch of us. Really appreciated. Ria

    April 28, 2014

  • Philip C.

    Excellent

    April 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very interesting, lovely experience to see the house insuch historic authenticity.

    April 27, 2014

  • James R.

    Fascinating. An amazingly detailed recreation.

    April 27, 2014

  • crudgie

    really good

    April 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wonderful experience. I will definitely go back.

    April 27, 2014

  • valerie

    It was great to be on the scene of this great theatrical scene. I loved being part of it and will definitely go back.

    April 27, 2014

  • valerie

    Excellent and unforgettable.

    April 27, 2014

  • Debbie

    Lovely day!

    April 27, 2014

  • Sue F

    Fascinating glimpse into a living household from ages past. Loved it!

    April 27, 2014

  • Ros d.

    Great experience very atmospheric indeed

    1 · April 27, 2014

  • Steve S.

    Excellent very atmospheric and chatted to some nice people

    April 27, 2014

  • Christine

    So sorry Robert to miss this but I was ill during the night and still don't feel great. Hope you all enjoy it.

    April 27, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hope you feel better soon, Christine!

      April 27, 2014

    • Christine

      Thanks Susan. I really wanted to come today as this house looks so interesting. Hope to catch catch up with you soon. Enjoy your day and tell me all about it next time I see you.

      April 27, 2014

  • Simon

    Very sorry I wasn't able to change my RSVP in advance. Had urgent family issue to deal with this. morning.

    April 27, 2014

  • valerie

    I can't wait to discover this hidden gem of Spitalfields, recreating the life of some of my ancient ancestors.

    April 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry not to make it but have streaming cold. Hope you enjoy the visit

    April 27, 2014

  • bev t.

    Not sure I can get there I changed to a no but if I can get to liverpool street will txt you and hopefully can join in.

    April 27, 2014

  • Freda M.

    Hi

    regret cannot make today after all.
    have a good time Freda Maddison

    April 27, 2014

  • Lesley P.

    Hi Robert. Unfortunaly won't be able to come to Dennis Severs hse tomorrow, because l've got severe back pain today, and l don't think l will be able to get there for a 11am start, so l've changed my RSVP. Sorry for the short notice, and l hope to catch up with you soon. Kind regards Lesley

    April 26, 2014

  • Sarah

    Hi Robert, I'm sorry, I am feeling too unwell to think that I'll be able to come tomorrow. Really sorry, Sarah

    April 26, 2014

  • Claire U.

    Sorry Robert but I'm not now able to go the Dennis Severs House meet up on Sunday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Steve S.

    I am in

    April 16, 2014

  • Rachel

    looks cool. Love that history period.

    April 16, 2014

  • Rachel

    looks cool. Love that history period.

    April 16, 2014

  • Rachel

    looks cool. Love that history period.

    April 16, 2014

  • christine

    Can't wait to see this house!!!

    April 16, 2014

68 went

  • Robert
    Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Kevin
    Meetups attended = 37, No shows = 6
  • SAM
    Meetups attended = 1
  • Tom
    Full Member 2016
  • Jon B.
    Meetups attended - 2
  • Georgina D.
    Meetups attended - 1
  • Breda
    Meetups attended = 21, No shows = 2
  • Rose
    Full Member 2016
  • Helen
    Meetups attended = 13, No shows = 15
  • MikeO
    Meetups attended = 7, No shows = 21
  • nick c.
    Meetups attended = 4, No shows = 2
  • brian
    Full Member 2016
  • Daniel
    Meetups attended = 5, No shows = 10
  • Kevin
    Meetups attended = 11, No shows = 6
  • Helen
    Meetups attended = 16, No shows = 1
  • mary
    Full Member 2017
  • Teresa
    Full Member 2017
  • Graham
    Full Member 2016
  • Samantha D.
    Meetups attended - 2
  • Amanda T
    Meetups attended = 11
  • Raquel Misis M.
    Meetups attended = 35, No shows = 25
  • Tom
    Meetups attended = 15, No shows = 51
  • mike b.
    Meetups attended = 39, No shows = 7
  • Lorraine
    Full Member 2017
  • Barbara
    Meetups attended = 1
  • David B.
    Meetups attended = 12, No shows = 3
  • Linda F
    Meetups attended = 22, No shows = 4
  • Edith K.
    Meetups attended = 8, No shows = 8
  • eva
    Meetups attended = 7, No shows = 6
  • Mahbuba
    Meetups attended = 5, No shows = 4
  • GARETH
    Full Member 2016
  • Mark
    Meetups attended = 62, No shows = 13
  • Bernice +1
    Full Member 2016
  • Jennifer
    Full Member 2016
  • Sally G. +1
    Meetups attended = 2
  • Sheri S.
    Full Member 2017
  • Jennifer
    Meetups attended = 17, No shows = 30
  • Maria
    Meetups attended = 12, No shows = 3
  • Philip C.
    Full Member 2017
  • James R.
    Meetups attended = 3, No shows = 1
  • Maria
    Full Member 2016
  • Maureen
    Full Member 2016
  • valerie
    Meetups attended = 23, No shows = 10
  • Debbie
    Meetups attended = 26, No shows = 3
  • Dionne
    Meetups attended = 3, No shows = 3
  • Sue F
    Meetups attended = 15, No shows = 1
  • Steve S.
    Meetups attended = 5, No shows = 2
  • Alison P
    Meetups attended = 8, No shows = 1
  • Elle
    Meetups attended = 28, No shows = 18
  • Andrew P.
    Full Member 2017

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