The amazingly atmospheric Dennis Severs’ House in Spitalfields is warning that it may need to turn off the wood fires due to problems with their Georgian chimneys.
The house was built in 1724 with nine chimneys, and it’s a rich part of the experience of stepping back in time created by real wood fires crackling and giving off that characteristic smell that wafts around the visitors.
However, after three centuries of smoking in the corners, the soot-encrusted brickwork is decaying and now needs urgent repair work if they are to keep the fires burning bright in the hearths. The house, at 18 Folgate Street is a grade II listed property and they have a specialist contractor who can undertake the work on the chimneys to a conservation standard.
However, that’s not cheap, and they’ve now launched a crowdfunder campaign to repair the fireplaces, and if they can raise the money – they aim to complete the repairs in time for their Christmas openings.
Otherwise, the Chesnuts won’t be roasting on an open fireplace this year.
The details of the crowdfunder are here.
Dennis Severs came to Spitalfields in 1979 and bought a derelict house saved by the Spitalfields Trust. He reconfigured it to tell the story of an imaginary Huguenot family who had lived there since it was built in 1724.
Since the death of Dennis Severs in 1999, the Spitalfields Trust have maintained his house, keeping the spirit of this unique place alive, and it is enjoyed today by thousands of visitors from across the world every year.