Museums Dedicated to Famous Londoners

London has many museums dedicated to its famous residents where you can find out more about these iconic figures.

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    An exterior view of the Charles Dickens Museum on December 7, 2012 in London, England. The museum will re-open to the public on December 10, 2012 following a major 3.1 million GBP refurbishment and expansion programme to celebrate Dickens' bicentenary year. The museum is located in Charles Dickens' house on Doughty Street where he lived from 1837 until 1839 and in which he wrote many novels including Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby
    Oli Scarff/Getty Images

    This is the only surviving London home of Charles Dickens. He lived there between 1837 and 1839 while writing The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, and Barnaby Rudge. He moved in with his wife Catherine, his eldest son Charley, his brother Fred and his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth. While staying at 48 Doughty Street, his two daughters Mary and Katey were born, and his sister-in-law died at only 17 years old. The museum hosts special exhibitions, workshops and talks and features a cafe with an outdoor courtyard.

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    Benjamin Franklin House, London
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    Benjamin Franklin House in London was his home between 1757 and 1775 and is the only surviving former home of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

    The rooms have been restored but are mostly empty, so how can this be brought to life for visitors to imagine what is was like when Benjamin Franklin lived there? There is a unique Historical Experience tour idea with an actress interacting with audio and video projections.

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    A recreation of Jimi Hendrix's bedroom is displayed at the Handel and Hendrix exhibition on February 8, 2016 in London, England. The permanent exhibtion in the former London home of Jimi Hendrix celebrates the lives of Jimi Hendrix and George Frideric Handel who also lived in the property in the 1700s.
    Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

    Handel House Museum transformed into Handel & Hendrix in London in 2016 when a new permanent museum opened to celebrate the lives of both the baroque composer and rock legend. Why? Because they both lived in the Georgian townhouses that now house the museum (23 and 25 Brook Street).

    You can now enter the third floor flat where Hendrix lived with his girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham.

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    Leighton House Museum
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    Leighton House was the home and studio of leading Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton and has undergone a £1.6 million refurbishment to bring it closer than ever to its original appearance when Lord Leighton died in 1896.

    The whole building is wonderful but the room most people have heard of is the Arab Hall; one of the many extensions the building received over 30 years of making it into a 'Palace of Art'.

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  • 05 of 11
    Dr. Johnson's House
    Elliott Brown/Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

    Dr. Johnson's House was built in 1700 and has retained many original features. It was the home and workplace of Samuel Johnson from 1748 to 1759 and it was where he compiled the first comprehensive English dictionary. Don't miss the garret work room where Johnson compiled the first English dictionary.

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    Sherlock Holmes Museum
    Cezary p at Polish Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0

    Okay, we know Sherlock Holmes wasn't real but there is a museum dedicated to this fictional Victorian detective, and his sidekick Doctor Watson, characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    The building is now protected and has to be preserved, which makes it a fascinating temple to Victoriana as well as detective story fans.

  • 07 of 11
    Sigmund Freud Museum London (view from the garden)
    Rup11/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

    The Freud Museum in Hampstead was the family home of Sigmund Freud after his family fled the Nazis in Austria in 1938. It remained the family home until Anna Freud, the youngest daughter, died in 1982. The centerpiece of the museum is Freud's study, preserved just as it was during his lifetime.

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    Keats House (1814-15), Hampstead, north London
    Spencer Means/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Keats House is where the poet John Keats lived from 1818 to 1820 and is the setting that inspired some of Keats’s most memorable poetry. Here, Keats wrote 'Ode to a Nightingale', and fell in love with Fanny Brawne, the girl next door. It was from this house that he traveled to Rome, where he died of tuberculosis aged just 25. Don't leave without reading Keats' handwritten letters.

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  • 09 of 11

    In the 1950s Fitzroy House in Bloomsbury was the London home and office of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and Scientology. The 1791 restored building has four floors of exhibits of his life and works, and although tours are only available via appointment, they are completely free. The first floor was home to George Bernard Shaw and his mother in 1881-82.

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    Following a £1.4million redevelopment, the Florence Nightingale Museum reopened on 12 May 2010, the birthday of this iconic Briton known as the 'Lady With the Lamp'. The museum tells the real story of the woman behind the legend as well as how modern nursing began. Don't miss the stethoscope audio guides!

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    This lovely Chelsea townhouse just off the King's Road was the home of Thomas and Jane Carlyle in Victorian times. The couple moved down from Scotland in 1834 to a London area that was popular with writers and artists so they often had visitors. Thomas Carlyle, a prolific writer and philosopher, had his study in the attic and made modifications to achieve more natural light and to lessen the street noise so it didn't interrupt his writing. Guests can visit all the floors of the house and the walled garden.