Dr Johnson’s House

17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE
Admission: GBP 4.50

Opening Times

Monday: 1000 - 1730
Tuesday: 1000 - 1730
Wednesday: 1000 - 1730
Thursday: 1000 - 1730
Friday: 1000 - 1730
Saturday: 1000 - 1730
Sunday: Closed
From October to April closed at 5 pm. Closed on Bank holidays.
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  • Dr Johnson's House
  • Dr Johnson's House

Map / Location
Transport Info

Transport Info

Tube : Chancery Lane (Central line), Blackfriars and Temple (District & Circle line).

If you have an interest for historical place and famous people, Dr. Johnson's House will give you some interesting glimpse at how used to looks like the house of an 18th century writer.

The house was formely home of English writer Samuel Johnson. Built in 1700 by wool merchant Richard Gough it is a rare example of a house of its era which survives in the City of London (this refers only to the 'Square Mile' of the City area, as there are many other houses of this period elsewhere in Greater London) and is the only one of Johnson's 18 residences in the City to survive.

Johnson lived and worked in the house from 1748 to 1759, where he compiled his famous A Dictionary of the English Language. In the 19th century, the house was also used as a hotel, a print shop and a storehouse. In 1911, it was purchased by newspaper magnate and politician Cecil Harmsworth, who later commented: "At the time of my purchase of the house in April 1911, it presented every appearance of squalor and decay … It is doubtful whether in the whole of London there existed a more forlorn or dilapidated tenement." He restored the house and opened it to the public in 1914.

The collection has been built up since that time. Harmsworths donated many early items then the collection was extended over the years by many generous donations of relevant books, paintings and artefacts. It includes many eighteenth- and nineteenth- century prints, mainly portraits of Johnson's contemporaries but also some portraits of Johnson as well as scenes from his life.

Outside you'll be able to see a Blue plaque erected by the Royal Society of Arts in 1876.

© E.B / Johnson's House