Booking & visiting
The French Connection
THE FRENCH CONNECTION: LIFE IN 18TH CENTURY SPITALFIELDS
7TH MAY - 20TH JUNE 2020
11am | 2pm
7th | 9th | 14th | 16th | 21st | 23rd | 30th May
4th | 11th | 13th | 18th | 20th June
£25 per person
Duration approximately 2 hours
Dennis Severs’ House and The Huguenots of Spitalfields are delighted to announce their first major collaboration ‘The French Connection: life in 18th Century London’ for May 2020.
'The French Connection' is a rare opportunity to join an expertly guided walk weaving through historic Spitalfields revisiting the incredible story of the first refugees; the Huguenots. Having fled persecution in 18th Century France, discover why the Huguenots chose to settle in the area, quickly making Spitalfields their home and how they left such a lasting legacy. The walk will highlight many of the surviving gems of 18th Century Spitalfields, culminating in an exclusive candlelit tour through Dennis Severs’ House with introduction by curator David Milne.
Dennis Severs’ House is more than just a time capsule. It is a breath-taking and intimate portrait of the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th Century. As you progress floor by floor, room by room, an imagined family are in residence at 18 Folgate Street, seemingly always just out of sight. From the remnants of an evening well spent in the smoking room, through the opulent collection of chinoiserie housed in the master bedroom, to the dusty damp forgotten lodgings on the top floor, you witness how the passage of time affects the silk trade from its early pomp to near collapse. It was Dennis Severs’ intention that as you enter his house it is as if you have passed through the surface of a painting, exploring with your senses and imagination a meticulously crafted 18th Century world.
The Huguenots of Spitalfields is a registered charity promoting public understanding of the great and often overlooked historical impact of Huguenot heritage and culture. Their objective is to highlight the contribution of the Huguenots to advance the education of the public, particularly persons resident in, working in or visiting Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, and the City of London, and to further the purposes of any charity whose objectives include advancing the education of the public in Huguenot heritage and culture.
Charlie de Wet, founder of The Huguenots of Spitalfields, said: “We’re so thrilled to be teaming with Dennis Severs’ House on this fantastic new walk, offering participants the opportunity to forget the high-rise buildings and contemporary office blocks of today’s Square Mile and immerse themselves in the atmospheric past of the City. It promises a true journey through history.”
‘The French Connection’ will run alongside ‘Refugee Week’ which launched in 1998 and takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20th June. In the UK ‘Refugee Week’ is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK and encourages a better understanding between communities.
In order to preserve the quality of our carpets and floors, please refrain from wearing stiletto heels and shoes with deeply ridged soles.
We advise booking early to avoid disappointment.
“What will you see, then, when the door is opened? It is a gate, a pathway into another time.
An adventure of the imagination.”