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!


Science On Stage

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

Monday 24 April, 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 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 – To book email

Franklin and Polly Hewson: A Second Daughter

Monday 15 May, 12:30pm

Benjamin Franklin House Director Dr Márcia Balisciano explores Franklin’s relationship with his surrogate family of 16 years at Craven Street, most notably how he became a ‘father’ to the daughter of his Craven Street landlady, Polly Hewson, ensuring an American destiny for her and her descendants.

£8/£5.50 for Friends and Concessions

Museums at Night – ‘Candle Lit’ Architectural Tours

Thursday 18 & Friday 19 May, 6pm, 7pm & 8pm

The atmospheric rooms of Benjamin Franklin’s only remaining residence will be the feature of this night-time architectural tour, highlighting the original features of our Grade I listed Georgian townhouse in evening light.

£8/£5.50 Friends and Concessions

Family Day: Spark your Curiosity

Tuesday 30 May, 11am-12.30pm

Join us for hands-on family fun exploring the wonders of electricity, including a demonstration of one of Ben Franklin’s most famous, and useful, inventions – the lightning rod! Children will be introduced to the basics of electricity through hands-on activities and demonstrations. Make a snake charmer out of tissue paper, magic paper balls, and a circuit out of play dough! Suitable for children aged 7-11 years old and their parents, though younger siblings are welcome.

Free – To book email

Donations welcome

Fulbright Lecture

Benjamin Franklin, Time and the Clockwork of the American Constitution

Thursday 1 June, 6:30pm

Benjamin Franklin - the polymath who invented his own clock in the 1750s - joined with the other Framers to organize American politics through numerous notions of time.  Dan Kryder will explore Franklin's role in the framing of the Constitution with a particular focus on how "the divine science of politics" used time as a balancing mechanism in the complex Newtonian clockwork of institutional competition and collaboration embedded in the Constitution.

£8/£5.50 Friends and Concessions

Annual Science Fair

Tuesday 20 June, 11am

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 end-of-year gathering where prizes will be awarded!

Free – To book email

 Donations welcome

Independence Day Party

Tuesday 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 was signed on 4 July 1776, an annual US holiday.

£10/£8 Friends and Concessions

Franklin’s Singing Bowls: An Evening with the Glass Armonica

Thursday 13 July, 6.30pm

In 1762, Franklin premiered his new musical invention, the glass armonica which had been devised at 36 Craven Street. Mallory Horrill, Front of House and Marketing Manager will demonstrate how ethereal sounds are produced from rotating glass bowls which have inspired compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and more recently, rock musicians like Jarvis Cocker and Damian Albarn.

£8/£6 for Friends and Concessions

Concordia Concert

Tuesday 11 July, 7.30pm

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 flute and guitar with Flauguissimo Duo.

£20 including refreshments

Family Day: Bones in the Basement

Tuesday 25 July, 11am-12.30pm

As part of the Festival of Archaeology come along and search for the Bones in the Basement. Become an archaeologist for the morning and help uncover the history of Benjamin Franklin House. Suitable for 8-11 year olds but younger siblings are welcome.

Free – To book email

Donations welcome

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