The Stephens Collection

The boutique museum that tells the life story of Henry ‘Inky’ Stephens. With fascinating artefacts and memorabilia from the history of the man, to his business and his passions.

Dr. Henry Stephens was the inventor (in 1832) of the famous "Blue-Black Writing Fluid", later developed into ink. The family firm manufacturing the ink and various accessories lay the foundations of a considerable family fortune. His son, Henry Charles Stephens, continued the development of the family business. He was a member of Parliament and during his lifetime fought numerous battles on behalf of local interests.

His involvement in local affairs, and his nickname "Inky" Stephens have since remained familiar to several generations of Finchley people. Henry "Inky" Stephens bought Avenue House in 1874, altered and extended it, adding, among other things, a laboratory, where he carried out his experiments in writing fluid. The grounds were landscaped and many rare trees planted, still here for us to see and admire.

Museum Facilities


Audio Guide

Wheelchair Access


Tour Guide




Venue Hire

All information is drawn from or provided by the museums themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.