18 Folgate Street
Dennis Severs bought a run-down silk-weaver’s house in Spitalfields and transformed it into a time capsule that transports visitors back to the 18th century. This book offers a tour of the house.
Growing up in California, Dennis Severs fell in love with the England he saw in old black and white movies. At seventeen he came to London, looking for a home with a heart. In 1979 he found one, a run-down silk-weaver’s house in Spitalfields, and over the next twenty years he transformed it into an enchanted time-capsule, transporting us back to the eighteenth century. From cellar to roof, he filled 18 Folgate Street with original objects and furniture, found in the local markets, lit by candles and chandeliers. More than that, he invented a family to live here, the Jervis family, Huguenot weavers who fled persecution in France in 1688, and bought the house in 1724. Sounds and scents bring their world to life, always just out of sight – floorboards creak, fires crackle, a kettle hisses on the hob. Visitors step through the frame of time, like entering an old master painting. As we move from room to room on a tour you will never forget, we follow the Jervis story from the days of the Georges and the Regency to harsher Victorian times – and even to the attic room of Scrooge himself.