On my last trip to London I’ve been to the Home of Charles Darwin – Down House. The house is in Kent, property of English Heritage, free for members and £11 for everybody else. There is a small car park and I imagine is full in the summer.
In the house we weren’t allowed to take pictures. It’s a shame as there are so many amazing things on display, like the first edition of On the Origin of Species. We got an audio guide (free), it’s so nice to hear many details about Darwin’s life. With financial help from his father and father-in-law, with his wife managing the household, he was able to spend all his time studying. The Origin of Species was documented for 20 years before publishing. It’s amazing what he did, he waited and waited until he had enough evidence to make the scientific community take his ideas seriously.
He married Emma Wedgwood and they have 10 children, they had a happy marriage. One of the things that impressed me the most was how they were interacting with their kids. There was a wooden slide fixed to the stairs, so the kids could play in the house. That idea is pretty progressive even in our days.
I love the house. As a fun part, there were Victorian costumes for the visitors to try. We both had to do that, as we love dressing up. I admit I would gladly wear Victorian dresses everyday, I love them.
The gardens aren’t supposed to be pretty, they helped him in his studies. In the greenhouse and the vegetable garden there are fruits and vegetables growing. Some of them can be bought and I got a delicious Victorian courgette, very long. It’s nice to be able to try new veggies. I like the taste, I think it’s better than the usual courgette we get from the supermarket. The trombone courgette can be classified as a wonky veg, it looks hilarious.
I didn’t talk a lot about Darwin’s studies and the house, there are so many things to discover, go and see the house.