Vestry House Museum

Vestry House Museum is an unexpected gem, hidden away in a rural corner of this busy East London suburb and historic area of Walthamstow Village, and housing a miscellany of local treasures. It was built in 1730 as a workhouse, as a plaque above the entrance still attests: "If any would not work, neither should he eat."

It later became a police station, then a private house, and opened as a museum in 1931. Grade II listed, the house displays reconstructions of a Victorian parlour from 1890, and a prison cell tableau based on the case of a drunk and disorderly labourer arrested in 1861. Its star exhibit is the Bremer car, built by local engineer Frederick Bremer in 1892 and a candidate for the oldest British petrol-driven car.

Galleries include Domestic Life, which shows 19th-century household utensils and the Costume gallery displaying antique clothing in a magnificent wood panelled room (although the 16th-century panelling is from another house).

Vestry House is very much a local museum and there are regular themed exhibitions and family events. home to a unique museum telling the story of industry, technology and transport in the Lea Valley.

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.