Benjamin Franklin House
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upcoming Events


To book for any event, please phone our box office +44 (0) 207 925 1405 (open 10.30am-5pm everyday except Tuesday) or send a cheque made payable to 'Friends of Benjamin Franklin House' along with the name of the event/date to Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF. 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 2014

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

Download our 2014 Events Guide


Family Day: 18th Century Toy Workshop
Tuesday 22 April, 11am

Discover how Georgian children entertained themselves through long winters. We will make 18th century toys, such as whirligigs, optical illusions, and cup-and-ball! Suitable for 5-11 year
£5 per child, free for adults

Toy Workshop


Annual Science Day
LOCATION: Central London venue to be confirmed

Friday 2 May, 10.30am
School children will take part in fun and informative sessions which highlight what became of Franklin’s most important investigations. Special guests will capture the children’s attention with experiments that pop, illuminate, and crackle, showing how Franklin’s 18th century explorations have led to some of today’s most important technologies. Suitable for Years 3-6.
Free – schools booking required

Science Day


Dr Vivian Montegomery

Museums at Night – The Retirement of a Georgian Prodigy and Lady Organist
Thursday 15 May, 6.30pm

Dr. Vivian Montgomery will explore an extraordinary period of professional activity among England’s lady organists, focusing on the high profile life of 18th century performer and entrepreneur, Martha Greatorex. Hear recorded excerpts of Greatorex’s music performed on an early 19th century English piano by Dr. Montgomery, an award-winning harpsichordist and fortepianist, currently in residence as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of Southampton.
£5/£3.50 Friends and concessions


Annual Benjamin Franklin House Science Fair
Tuesday 3 June, 11am-1pm

Science Fair allows children to develop skills associated with scientific enquiry, helping them become autonomous thinkers and creative problem solvers. They are encouraged to develop their own responses to problems Franklin considered at Craven Street, such as how to get more heat from less fuel. Young people create and display their own experiments at in-school Science Fairs, with winning entries going
forward to this mid-year gathering.
Free – school bookings required

Science Fair


Georgian Homes

Family Day: Georgian Homes
Tuesday 27 May, 11am

As part of National Family Week we will be hosting our Georgian homes workshop. Benjamin Franklin House was built circa 1730. How are our homes different today? Find out in a fun session for kids big and small, during which everyone's help will be needed to build a street of 3D, model Georgian terraces like 36 Craven Street. Suitable for 5-11 year olds.
£5 per child, free for adults


Robert H. Smith Lecture in association with the Eccles Centre for American Studies: 'America & Britain in the 21st century'
LOCATION: The British Library, Terrace Restaurant (1st Floor), 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Thursday 29 May, 6.30pm

Sir Nigel Sheinwald, former Ambassador to the United States, will discuss America's and Britain's changing roles in the world. He will explain why a strong transatlantic relationship nevertheless remains important, and why
international engagement by both countries remains in their and the rest of the world's interests. The lecture honours American philanthropist, Robert H. Smith, a key supporter of Benjamin Franklin House, who was
passionate about the roots and reach of American democracy.
£8 adults/£6 seniors/£5 concessions – booking via the British Library online here/ Box office: 01937546546

Nigel Sheinwald



Benjamin Franklin House Medal for Leadership Ceremony and Dinner
Monday 16 June, 7pm
LOCATION: The Mansion House, London EC4N 8BH

We will award the inaugural Medal for Leadership to Michael Bloomberg. The Medal recognises extraordinary individuals following in Franklin’s footsteps who exemplify great vision, crosscultural understanding and tolerance, effectiveness, and intellectual rigour. In public service and business, the Mayor Bloomberg epitomises these Franklin virtues and more.
Contact us for details about sponsorship, tables, and places


Independence Day Party
Friday 4 July, 12-2pm

Join us for a celebration of Independence Day at Benjamin Franklin House. Enjoy cake and a glass of bubbly in the world’s only remaining Franklin home. As a founder of the United States, Franklin was the only statesman to have signed all four documents that created a new nation, including The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and The Constitution. The first of these signed on 4 July 1776, formalising the separation of the 13 colonies from British rule, is celebrated annually with a US national holiday.
£8/£5 Friends and concessions

Doughnuts! Yum


Concordia Logo

Concordia Concert
Thursday 24 July
, Time TBC
We will be hosting an evening in keeping with Franklin’s love of 18th century music in association with our Craven Street neighbours, the Concordia Foundation, which serves young musicians. Join us for a programme of music for voice and harp.

£20 including refreshments


Family Day: Festival of British Archaeology – Bones in the Basement
Tuesday 29 July, 11am

Children will explore the House’s fascinating archaeological history. They will discover why human bones were found in the basement and the story they tell about the history of medicine. Led by House Education Manager, Stephen Wilson.
£5 per child, free for adults

Bones in basement


Glass Armonica

A Musical Evening: Franklin's Glass Armonica
Monday 4 August, 6pm

In 1762, Franklin premiered his new musical invention, the glass armonica which had been devised a year earlier at 36 Craven Street. Ethereal sounds are produced from rotating glass bowls which inspired compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, (JC) Bach, and more recently, rock musicians like Jarvis Cocker and Damian Albarn. House Operations Manager, Sally James, will talk about the fascinating history of the glass armonica and perform excerpts from pieces written for the instrument.
£5/£3.50 Friends and concessions


Family Day: Children’s Summer Fete – Print This!
Saturday 9 August, 11am-2pm
Location to be confirmed

Our annual Summer Fete, in collaboration with special guests from the world of heritage including the Ragged School Museum, Kelmscott House, and Dr Johnson’s House will include Print This! – a workshop for all the family exploring Franklin’s contribution to printing, allowing participants to print their own message, picture, or sign using everyday objects. Suitable for 5-14 year olds.
Free – booking required

Print this activitiy


Big Ben Stamp Act

Family Day: Big Ben Stamp Act
Tuesday 19 and 26 August, 11am

In honour of his role as the first Postmaster General of the US Postal Service and his many other achievements in science, innovation, and diplomacy, Benjamin Franklin has often featured on postage stamps around the world. As the holidays draw to a close, children will enjoy a tour of Benjamin Franklin House in the company of Polly Hewson, daughter of Franklin’s landlady. They will then create their own stamp postcard to Polly to share highlights of their summer adventures.
£5 per child, free for adults


Annual Symposium in association with the Eccles Centre: Alan Rusbridger
LOCATION: The British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Monday 8 September, 6.30pm

As our 2014 Symposium speaker, Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of Guardian News & Media, will share his views on freedom of the press. During his editorship the paper has fought a number of high-profile battles over press freedom and libel, including cases involving Neil Hamilton, Jonathan Aitken, the Police Federation, Trafigura, and Wikileaks. The Guardian broke world exclusive stories by publishing NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
£8 adults/£6 seniors/£5 concession– booking via the British Library Box Office: 01937546546

Alan Rusbridger


Open House 2013

Open House London
Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 September, 10.30am-4pm

Open House London is the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design. This annual event invites 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


Family Day: Hallowe’en at Benjamin Franklin House
Tuesday 28 October, 4-5pm

As Hallowe’en approaches, brave the dimly lit corridors and creaking floorboards of this 18th century Georgian house for ghost stories told by Benjamin Franklin’s friend Polly Hewson, and other haunting happenings…
£5 per child, free for adults



Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner
LOCATION: Clothworkers' Hall, Dunster Court, Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AH
Thursday 27 November, 7.30pm

An American Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings will take place at the 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.
Contact us for more details and to reserve your place


Annual Friends and Neighbours Christmas Party
Wednesday 10 December, 6-8pm

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

Christmas garland


Children's Xmas Party

Family Day: Children’s Christmas Party
Saturday 13 December, 10.30am-12pm

With Christmas just around the corner, 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 a Christmas wreath to make and take home! Suitable for 5-11 year olds.
£5 per child, free for adults