Benjamin Franklin House
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upcoming Events


To book for any event, please phone our box office +44 (0) 207 839 2006  or email Friends, students, and those over 65 are entitled to a concessionary rate.

Many of our events have a limited capacity so we advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment. For information about our events programme please email

Benjamin Franklin House Events 2017

Join us for fascinating Franklinesque events: from family workshops, to lectures and our annual 4th July party!


Family Day: Children’s Summer Fete

Location: Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Rd, London W14 8LZ

Saturday 5 August, 11am-4pm

Our annual Summer Fete will take place in collaboration with special guests from the world of heritage, and will include activities for all the family. The Fete will be held in the lovely gardens of Leighton House Museum so bring a picnic! 

Free – To book email

Donations welcome

Benjamin Franklin and the Opticians

Wednesday 13 September, 6:30pm

When not looking at the world through his spectacles, Franklin was corresponding with their makers. He claimed they helped him to understand foreign languages and attract the opposite sex. Neil Handley, from the museum at the College of Optometrists, will open our eyes to this contradictory and controversial facet of Franklin’s many scientific and business interests.

8/5.50 Friends and Concessions

Open House London

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September, 10.30am-4pm

Open House London is the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design. This annual event allows the public to cross the threshold of some of London’s most interesting buildings, including Grade I, 1730s Benjamin Franklin House. Half-hourly guided tours will take place throughout the day.

Free – half-hourly tours run on a first come first served basis

The Lightning Rod: Invention and Contention

Thursday 28 September, 6.30pm

Using exciting science demos, Gemma Smith, Education Manager, will explore how one of Franklin’s most iconic inventions, the Lightning Rod, came about. She will also reveal the personal and political rivalries Franklin faced to get his invention installed throughout London and beyond.

8/6 Friends and Concessions

Colloqium on Slavery

Location: Newington Green Unitarian Church, Stoke Newington, London N16 9PR

Saturday 7 October, 10:30am-4pm

For Black History Month this year, we collaborate with Newington Green Unitarian Church, whose notable Minister, Richard Price, was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin and a fellow member of the Club of Honest Whigs. In an all-day colloquium we will explore the birth of the abolitionist movement and Franklin’s key role in bringing about an end to slavery, women’s involvement with antislavery activism, and the realities of eliminating modern slavery in our globalised economy.

Booking details to follow

Family Day: Hallowe’en at Benjamin Franklin House

Tuesday 24 October, 4-5pm

Children will meet Polly Hewson to hear some ghoulishly good Hallowe’en stories followed by gruesome games including Mummy Bowling, Apple Bobbing and Pick a Pumpkin. Suitable for 5 – 11 year olds.

Free – To book email

Donations welcome

Museums at Night - Craven Street Bones

Saturday 28 October, 6.30pm

In 1997, a chance discovery during conservation sparked an investigation at Benjamin Franklin House: how did human skeletal remains of up to 10 individuals come to be buried under the basement floor? Operations Manager, Beth Ward, will explore the answer to this question and reveal the darker side of the 18th century’s pursuit of knowledge.

8/6 Friends and Concessions

Annual Symposium in association with the Eccles Centre

Benjamin Franklin in London:  From British Royalist to American Revolutionary

LOCATION: The British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

Thursday 16 November, 6.30pm

George Goodwin, our Author in Residence, explores Franklin’s life in the heaving  metropolis of 18th century London, his friendship Joseph Priestley and Francis Dashwood, his political cooperation with Prime Ministers William Pitt the Elder and the Marquess of Rockingham, and his final antagonism with “mangling ministers”.

Booking from 1 Sept via the British Library: 01937546546 and

Thanksgiving Dinner

Location: Clothworkers' Hall, Dunster Court, Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AH

Thursday 23 November, 7.30pm 

An American Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings will take place at magnificent Clothworkers’ Hall.  Roast turkey (and stuffing and vegetables and of course pumpkin pie) will be a highlight.  Franklin, in addition to suggesting the turkey become one of America’s national symbols, practised cooking it as part of his early work on electricity.

For further details email

Annual Friends and Neighbours Christmas Party

Thursday 7 December, 6.30pm

Celebrate the festive season with friends of the House and our Craven Street neighbours.  In the great British holiday tradition, enjoy a mince pie, and a glass or two of homemade mulled wine!

Free – RSVP to 

Family Day: Children’s Christmas Party

Saturday 9 December, 10.30am

Children will discover the magic of the holiday – 18th century style – with crafts and treats. Sing along to festive classics such as ’Silent Night’ and ’Jingle Bells’ with accompaniment on the glass armonica, Franklin’s musical instrument. Enjoy mince pies and deck the halls with Christmas crafts to make and take home! Suitable for 5-11 year olds.

Free – To book email

 Donations Welcome