The Keats House in London has a great claim to fame – under the plum tree in its garden, Keats composed the beautiful Ode to a Nightingale. He lived here during his most creative time as a poet, sharing rooms with Charles Brown for two years. The house contains original manuscripts and books, some related to Fanny Brawne, his neighbor and fiancée.
Built around 1810, the house has changed quite a bit since Keats’s time. When he lived there, it was part of a semi-detached house called Wentworth Place. Its exterior remains relatively unchanged but the inside was altered by several tenants. Most notably, it was converted into a single house and suffered some damage during the Blitz. It opened as a museum in 1925.
The house is located on a quiet street now called Keats Grove. Take the Hampstead or Belsize Park tube and be prepared to walk. The neighborhood is now one of London’s nicest and the walk from the tube station to the house is beautiful. There are numerous shops and restaurants along the way. (On a personal note, I’d like to reassure the residents of Hampstead that blonde Americans who politely ask for directions to the Keats House are not thieves or murderers. On my first visit, I single-handedly terrified three residents.)
The house is open daily from noon to 5 pm, except for holidays, and the admittance charge is £3 for adults; children under 16 enter for free. There is no charge to enter the garden. (From November through March, the house is open from noon to 4 pm.)
The telephone number is 020 7435 2062. I strongly urge every potential visitor to call ahead. The museum sometimes closes without warning.
NOTE: The house is closed (yet again – shades of ’03) for major repairs and will reopen in late 2008.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "John Keats House in London – Keats Grove, Hampstead" https://englishhistory.net/keats/house-in-london/, March 6, 2015