Dr Johnson’s House

Dr Johnson’s House information

London , England
17 Gough Sq
Getting there
Tube: Chancery Lane
More information
adult/child £6/2.50, audio guide £2
Opening hours
11am-5.30pm Mon-Sat May-Sep, to 5pm Oct-Apr
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This wonderful house, built in 1700, is a rare surviving example of a Georgian mansion in the City. It was the home of the great Georgian wit Samuel Johnson, the author of the first serious dictionary of the English language and the man who famously proclaimed, ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’.

The house contains antique furniture and artefacts from Dr Johnson’s life, including a chair from his local pub, the Old Cock Tavern on Fleet St, and numerous paintings of the lexographer and his associates, including his black manservant Francis Barber and his clerk and biographer James Boswell.

On the upper floors there are leaflets describing how Dr Johnson and six clerks (Boswell wasn’t among them yet) developed the first English dictionary in the house’s attic during the period he lived here from 1748–59, as well as a copy of the first edition of the dictionary from 1755. Children will love the Georgian dress-up clothes, and there are also temporary exhibits.