Charles Darwin’s bedroom to be open to the public

Date Posted: 15/03/2016

From this summer, groups visiting Down House, Kent– the historic home of Charles Darwin – will be able to see inside the privacy of Darwin’s bedroom for the first time.

The bedroom will be open for visitors to gain a new insight into the life of the scientist.

Visiting groups can view the old study where Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was written, and the ground floor rooms which are furnished with items original to the house.

Inside the house there is also an interactive exhibition on Darwin’s work. Previous unseen objects such as manuscript pages from On the Origin of Species, Darwin’s hat, microscope, notebooks and a copy of Das Kapital, inscribed to Darwin by Karl Max, are on show in this exhibition.

Visitors can also see a full-scale recreation of Darwin’s cabin aboad the Beagle, which was the ship on which he developed his theories during a five-year voyage.

There’s also a digitised version of his diary on display.

Groups can explore the gardens, also, and can walk along the original Sandwalk – Darwin’s famous thinking path.

History of the house

Darwin and his wife, Emma, moved into the country villa in 1842 and remodelled the house and its extensive gardens, which Darwin used as an open-air laboratory. It was here that he developed his theory of evolution by natural selection and where he wrote his book On the Origin of Species.

The house was a family home to Darwin for 40 years until his death in 1882.

Group information

Hand-held multimedia tours are available so that visitors can explore at their own pace.

Catering is available at the on-site tearoom and groups can also book guided garden tours.

Advanced booking is required for both normal visits and guided tours.

For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/darwin.

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