Almshouses and Filipino fusion in Hoxton

Recent events

On 19th March 2024, a flush of Plumbers ventured into East London to visit the Museum of the Home in Hoxton. It was a breezy spring day, and thankfully the merest splatter of rain did not dampen our event at this beautiful museum.

We started in the Georgian Room, and ate freshly-made cinamon buns from local Swedish bakery Fabrique, served with tea and coffee.

Curator Louis came to give us a talk on the origins of the museum:

We then split into 2 groups for our private tour of Almshouse 14  (not often open to the public), or to walk through the Rooms through Time.

Louis continued to be our guide, and here in front of the Museum’s restored Almshouse 14:

The entire museum used to be almshouses, from 1714 to 1912, offering accomodation to those with limited income. They were built by the Ironmongers’ Company, and each building had four rooms, with each containing one household, where the inhabitants would cook, eat, sleep, and relax.

On the ground floor, we saw a room, and adjacent pantry, recreated how it would have been in the 1780s:

On the second floor, we saw another room and pantry, this time recreated how it would have been in the 1880s, and much more comfortable-looking:

In the basement, there was a shared scullery.

In the first 150 years of the almshouses, the residents would have used a chamber pot, kept under the bed. However, in the 1870s, the extraordinary luxury of an indoor loo was plumbed into each building:

Master Plumber David Adams

The groups swopped over, and we then walked through the Rooms through Time exhibition to see some of the ways in which the main living space of the home has evolved, based on real London homes, from a hall in 1630:

To a drawing room in 1830:

Afterwards, a 5 minute walk through Hoxton brought us to Rapsa restaurant, where we had the place to ourselves and feasted on 7 courses of delicious Filipino mezze.

The camaraderie of our group made for a very sociable event, and I highly recommend both the Museum of the Home and Rapsa restaurant for looking after us so well.

Senior Steward Philippa Stary