However many museums I hear about, however many I’ve been to, there are still so many more that I’ve never heard of at all! And one of those was the Honeywood Museum in the London Borough of Sutton, until now… (Disclaimer: I’m running an outreach project there at the moment!)
Originally built in the 17th Century with several extensions, most notably in the early 20th Century, Honeywood Museum is a mix of historic house and local history museum all set on the lovely ponds of Carshalton and there are many reasons to visit even if you are not a local:
1) The Edwardian Billiards Room – I’m fascinated by this room, it was totally unexpected when I first walked in. The white, pretty house situated on the ponds is contrasted with the very dark and masculine room with its leather sofas, original billiard table and fireplace with built in ventilators to disperse the cigarette and cigar smoke. It doesn’t take much to imagine the room being in use, with loud parties or after dinner games, or as a Cluedo style set for a murder mystery.
2) The setting – it’s not just the fact the museum is set on the ponds, but that water actually runs underneath the museum, well it does currently thanks to the recent wet winter. You can stand looking out of the window watching the water running down and flowing underneath the building itself. And we recently watched 10 little ducklings swimming in the stream by the museum garden.
3) Tons of original features – windows, doors, fireplaces, stairs, walls; there are amazing original features everywhere, from all periods from the 17th to 20th Century. For instance, the billiard room is joined in the Edwardian extension by a much more delicate and feminine drawing room that opens up to the gardens, with beautiful stained glass windows all around.
4) Hooray for Honeywood – since re-opening in 2012 after a complete renovation the museum has been hard at work running different events, workshops and projects and so now its time to celebrate everything they’ve achieved, cue the Hooray for Honeywood festival in June 2014! It’s a great opportunity to see what the house and museum has to offer and you’ll even get to see a little exhibition curated by me 🙂 (if I can get it ready on time!)
For more information check out the Friends of Honeywood website; if you want to see more about what I’ve been up to at the museum check out the Digital Storytelling YouTube site and if you want to see what Sutton Heritage are up to then follow on twitter @Suttonheritage and on WordPress.
Honeywood Museum, Honeywood Walk, Carshalton, SM5 3NX
Open 11-5pm Wed-Fri and 10am-5pm Sat & Sun