Museums Home
Museums frontpage

Honeywood Museum, Carshalton

Founded: 1990        Governance: LA-supported trust      Scope: Local history   Visited: Spring 2019

Carshalton has leafy bits and rough-edged bits, but at its centre is a pond, overlooked on one side by the amazing All Saints' Church - as baroque an Anglo-Catholic playground as you could wish to see - and on the other by the rambling Honeywood House. This was a private home until just before World War Two when the Council bought it as part of a foresighted effort to preserve the centre of the town from suburbanisation. After decades of various uses it finally emerged as a heritage centre and museum in 1990. The whole ensemble is an island of tranquility in the outer London suburbs, not so much a village scene as a set-piece organised around that great pool. 

Honeywood's history is confused by shifting names and tenancies, and that seems reflected in the way the museum is structured: the fact that the tea shop has a separate entrance next to the way into the galleries appears emblematic. Staircases lead up and down, opening into rooms that look at the inhabitants of the house and the uses to which it has been put, and it's almost by accident that something of the wider history of Carshalton, its mills and industries, emerges from the displays. You find yourself in a billiard room, or a bathroom, with the strange feeling that you've intruded on someone's living space. But it remains great fun, especially because every now and again you catch a glimpse of the pond through a window, reminding you why you're there, really.

Honeywood Museum, Carshalton
Honeywood Museum, Carshalton
Honeywood Museum, Carshalton
Honeywood Museum, Carshalton
Honeywood Museum, CarshaltonHoneywood Museum, Carshalton
Honeywood Museum, Carshalton
Go to Homepage