Dennis Severs’ House at 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields is more than just a time capsule. It is both a breathtaking and an intimate portrait of the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th Century. As you follow their fortunes through the generations, the sights, smells and sounds of the house take you into their lives. It was Dennis Severs’ intention that as you enter his house it is as if you have passed through the surface of a painting, exploring with your senses and imagination a meticulously crafted 18th Century world.
Its creator was Dennis Severs, an artist who used his visitors’ imaginations as his canvas and who lived in the house in much the same way as its original occupants might have done in the early 18th Century. This he did for his own personal enjoyment as well as for the harvest of an atmosphere, which he then employed to provide the visitor with an extraordinary experience. To enter its door is to pass through a frame into a painting, one with a time and life of its own.
The game is that you interrupt a family of Huguenot silk weavers named Jervis who, though they can still sometimes be heard, seem always to be just out of sight. As you journey off into a silent search through the ten rooms, each lit by fire and candlelight, you receive a number of stimulations to your senses.