Left: 36 Craven Street, where Benjamin Franklin lived between 1757 and 1765. Flickr picture by Elliot Brown (CC BY 2.0). Right: Painting of Benjamin Franklin in London, made in 1767 by David Martin.

The rooms in Benjamin Franklin House have been carefully restored and contain lots of original features. Flickr picture by U.S Embassy London (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Originally a rather substantial street by London standards, Craven Street is now dwarfed by Charing Cross Station, which towers behind Benjamin Franklin House.


Our visit to the Benjamin Franklin House is sold out.

Benjamin Franklin’s British life

Monday 19 February 2018, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, WC2N 5NF

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, lived for almost 16 years – between 1757 and 1775 – at 36 Craven Street in London (which today is next to Charing Cross Station), where he lodged with a widow and her daughter.

He came here as a representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly to mediate between the colonists and the British government – in effect he was the very first American ambassador. And, as an energetic and enthusiastic scientist, he took an active part in the intellectual and social life of the city, making close friends among the leading figures of the day. He also carried out many experiments and made several inventions in his lodgings.

The British historian and highly entertaining raconteur George Goodwin, who is honorary author in residence at Benjamin Franklin House and who in 2016 wrote a highly acclaimed biography about Franklin’s years in London, will tell us more about his life and friendships here during the years leading up to the American Revolution.

We will also be able to look around the house, which was built ca 1730 and is Grade I listed. In the beginning of this century it was restored to its original state and opened to the public as a museum in 2006, on Franklin’s 300th birthday.

The house cannot accommodate more than 30 visitors, so sign up early for a fascinating morning.

Kensington Society members £20, non-members £25.