What's On



Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

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After Hours at Dr Johnson's House

Thursday 12 May, 5.30 - 8pm (drop-in)

Spend a summer’s eve exploring the four floors of 17 Gough Square before enjoying a glass of wine in Johnson’s atmospheric Withdrawing Room.

Discover the Garret where the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language was written in the mid-18th century and see a first-edition copy of the work on display.

Part of the 2016 Museums at Night festival

Museums at Night logo

Usual admission fees apply
(includes a complimentary glass of wine)
No booking required

The Parlour in Dr Johnson's House

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A Random Dictionary: An Art and Language Workshop

Saturday 28 May, 11am - 12pm (aimed primarily at ESOL students, but open to anybody with an interest in and love for language!)

Work in collaboration with Artist in Residence Lorena Carbajal to engage in playful explorations of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary. Play with words, language, translations and definitions in this unusual ‘English lesson/Art project’.

This event is run by the Artist and an experienced EFL Teacher, as part of the Artist's residency at Dr Johnson’s House.

The workshop is FREE, although booking is required
To reserve your place, please
contact the Deputy Curator

Lorena Carbajal’s artistic work and theoretical research engage with ideas of language, translation, communication and misunderstanding. During her residency at Dr Johnson’s House, Lorena will be developing an artistic project engaging with Dr Johnson’s Dictionary.


A Random Dictionary

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Living in Dr Johnson's House

A free lunchtime talk by Laura Carter
Saturday 28 May, 2pm

Dr Johnson’s House, at number 17, dominates Gough Square. Yet a curious building sits next door: ‘The Curator’s Cottage.’ Built in 1912 when the House first opened to the public, the cottage was occupied by three successive generations of female custodians from the same family.

In this talk Laura Carter will draw on the House's recently catalogued archives and the contemporary popular press to explore the working lives of these live-in keepers. She will ultimately consider how the story of these women challenges gendered assumptions about the practice of amateur history in twentieth-century Britain.

FREE after usual admission fee
No booking required

Laura Carter is a PhD student in History at the University of Cambridge. Her work focuses on women, museums, and public educational initiatives relating to the understanding of history in Britain in the twentieth century.


Newspaper clipping (The Inconveniences of Living in Dr Johnson's House'), The Star, 1924

The Inconveniences of Living in Dr Johnson's House, 'The Daily Star', 1924 (Dr Johnson's House archive)

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Free Tea at Three

Every Wednesday in July, 3pm
EXCEPT Wednesday 13 July

Dr Johnson’s House has hosted its fair share of tea-parties in its 300-year-history, not least for the members of the Auxiliary Fire Services who were based at the House during the Second World War.

Learn more by visiting our special display, ‘Dr Johnson’s House and the Two Great Fires of London: 1666 and 1940’, before helping us to maintain the tea-drinking tradition today with a free cuppa at 3pm.

Part of the Great Fire 350 programme.

Tea is FREE after usual admission fee
No booking required


Mrs Rowell serving tea to fire services


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Dr Johnson's Reading Circle
Summer Outing

Saturday 30 July

Join us on a summer outing to Johnson's birthplace: the historic city of Lichfield, Staffordshire.

We will be visiting the Erasmus Darwin House in the morning and the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum in the afternoon, with some free time for exploring the city and its famous cathedral.

The trip is organised for Dr Johnson's Reading Circle but non-members and Johnson enthusiasts are also very welcome.

Please click here for further details and booking.


Painting of The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

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Follow in Johnson's footsteps and explore the courts and alleys off Fleet Street with an experienced City Guide.

1st Wednesday of each month (except Jan.), 3pm

Next walks:

June 1, July 6, August 3

Groups may also book walks at alternative times. For any enquiries please contact us.

Dr Johnson's Fleet Street - Discover Johnson's life and work in and around Fleet Street and his acquaintances in the area.
Dr Johnson's City - Explore the Fleet Valley, Ludgate Hill and St Paul's Churchyard areas as Johnson knew them.

£5/£4 concessions. No booking required. Meet outside Dr Johnson's House.

This is a joint venture between Dr Johnson's House and the City Guides.

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Johnson and Boswell 'Walking down the High Street' by Rowlandon

Events information

Most events sell out and tickets must be bought in advance. Card payments are processed by PayPal. We regret that we are unable to take card payments over the phone.

Customers wishing to pay by cheque should send a cheque payable to 'Dr Johnson's House Trust Ltd' to Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Please include your contact details. We will let you know when your cheque arrives.

Please note the House contains unavoidable steps. For more information about access, please visit our Facilities page.

LondonShh. Small Historic Houses Link to London Shh website Accredited Museum