Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum Charles Dickens was born in this house on 7th February 1812. The Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum is the perfect place to start exploring and experiencing the work of one of England’s most famous and best-loved writers.

Charles Dickens was born in this house, then known as 1 Mile End Terrace, on 7th February 1812. It was the first married home of his parents, John and Elizabeth Dickens. Here you can experience the authentic atmosphere of the comfortable Regency home which would have greeted the new-born Dickens. Much of Victorian Portsmouth still remains in the city’s streets and heritage, drawn upon by Dickens himself in Nicholas Nickleby. The Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum is the perfect place to start exploring and experiencing the work of one of England’s most famous and best-loved writers. 2015 - 2016 Opening Hours Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum is closed between October 2015 to the end of March 2016, with the following exceptions; Christmas Weekend Opening Open from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th December, 10am - 5pm Special opening to celebrate Dickens' Birthday Sunday 7th February, 10am - 5pm. Last admission 30 minutes before closing time.

There will be a Dickens-themed Christmas concert taking place at St Mary's Church next month, as the Spinnaker Chorus ri...
16/11/2018

There will be a Dickens-themed Christmas concert taking place at St Mary's Church next month, as the Spinnaker Chorus ring in the festive season with their production - 'What the Dickens'.
See the post below for more details.

🎄🎉🎶⛄️ Come and spend some time in the company of Spinnaker Chorus at our Dickens themed Christmas spectacular concert, in support of our chosen charity Rowans Hospice. Listen to our beautiful 4 part harmonies as we intertwine our varied repertoire with a classic Christmas story including narration by the fabulous Charles Collingwood aka Brian Aldridge from BBC Radio 4’s BBC The Archers.
Tickets available from [email protected] ⛄️🎄🎉

Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers
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British Association of Barbershop Singers
#barbershop #acappella #community #singing #christmas #festive #Dickens #Portsmouth

Looks like Charles had a bit of a rough night! He's experiencing some Hard Times, maybe from one too many Martini Chuzzl...
01/11/2018

Looks like Charles had a bit of a rough night! He's experiencing some Hard Times, maybe from one too many Martini Chuzzlewits, or indulging in Our Mutu-ale Friend...
(P.S. Drink responsibly, folks)

Recently reissued by Ladybird Books, this classic Charles Dickens book is exclusively available at our Charles Dickens' ...
17/09/2018

Recently reissued by Ladybird Books, this classic Charles Dickens book is exclusively available at our Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum, The Charles Dickens Museum in London and Bleak House in Broadstairs.

Next week, our friends at the New Theatre Royal will be hosting a special, five-night performance of Great Expectations....
17/05/2018
Great Expectations at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

Next week, our friends at the New Theatre Royal will be hosting a special, five-night performance of Great Expectations. One of Dickens' most famous works will come to life on the NTR stage, and you can get tickets by following the link below.

The producers who delighted audiences here with Travels with my Aunt in 2015 and Our Man in Havana in 2016 are back with Dickens’ timeless classic in a powerful new stage adaptation. Following a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict, young Pip is given an unexpected chance to better himself...

Today we are celebrating the life and talent of Charles Dickens who was born on this day in 1812. The Birthplace will be...
07/02/2018

Today we are celebrating the life and talent of Charles Dickens who was born on this day in 1812. The Birthplace will be open all day with hourly readings by the Dickens Fellowship, from 11am onwards. Admission free today.

This is the last weekend to visit the Charles Dickens Birthplace before closing for the winter. Hope you enjoy your visi...
29/09/2017

This is the last weekend to visit the Charles Dickens Birthplace before closing for the winter. Hope you enjoy your visit.

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum
14/07/2017

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

An illustration for the character of 'Dick Swiveller', from the Pickwick Papers. This is a lithograph dated to 1870 by "KYD", also known as Joseph Clayton Clarke, from the museum co0llection

"My advice is, never to do to-morrow what you can do today. Procastination is the thief of time..." Quote by Charles Dic...
09/06/2017

"My advice is, never to do to-morrow what you can do today. Procastination is the thief of time..." Quote by Charles Dickens, from David Copperfield. Today's poignant illustration titled 'The Empty Chair' is an engraving which was done by Sir Luke Fildes depicting the study, desk and chair standing empty after the death of Charles Dickens, on this day in 1870. Image: Copyright Portsmouth Museums

On Friday we re-open for the season. As is customary, admission will be free all weekend. We hope you enjoy your visit.
29/03/2017

On Friday we re-open for the season. As is customary, admission will be free all weekend. We hope you enjoy your visit.

What the Dickens! It's only seven days to go until we re-open for the season. Admission is free for the first weekend. W...
24/03/2017

What the Dickens! It's only seven days to go until we re-open for the season. Admission is free for the first weekend. What a treat.

Today's illustration is from a series of illustrated cigarette cards depicting 'Historic Places from Charles Dickens'. T...
08/02/2017

Today's illustration is from a series of illustrated cigarette cards depicting 'Historic Places from Charles Dickens'. This one shows ' Poor Jo's Churchyard, Russell Court, Drury Lane'. The place is taken from Bleak House and is described as a "hemmed-in churchyard, pestiferous and obscene whence malignant diseases communicate with our dear brothers and sisters who have not yet departed". This item is currently on display at Portsmouth Museum as part of 'The Art of the Story' Dickens display.

Today we are celebrating the life and talent of Charles Dickens who was born on this day, 7th February 1812. The Birthpl...
07/02/2017

Today we are celebrating the life and talent of Charles Dickens who was born on this day, 7th February 1812. The Birthplace will be open all day with hourly readings by the Dickens Fellowship, from midday onwards.

It's that time of year again. Join us tomorrow at the Charles Dickens Birthplace to celebrate the birthday of perhaps on...
06/02/2017

It's that time of year again. Join us tomorrow at the Charles Dickens Birthplace to celebrate the birthday of perhaps one of our greatest ever authors Charles Dickens, who was born here on 7th February 1812. There will be a toast and wreath laying at 11am and hourly readings from midday. Today's image is a mezzotint from 1870 titled 'Charles Dickens, A Great Humanitarian'.

A stipple engraving of Dickens by Edwin Roffe dated 1861
05/02/2017

A stipple engraving of Dickens by Edwin Roffe dated 1861

A letterpress print by one of Dickens' favoured illustrators Frederick Barnard, from a 'Sketch by Boz'
04/02/2017

A letterpress print by one of Dickens' favoured illustrators Frederick Barnard, from a 'Sketch by Boz'

Happy Christmas to everyone. As the Kyd watercolours are proving so popular, here's another from the series, this time s...
25/12/2016

Happy Christmas to everyone. As the Kyd watercolours are proving so popular, here's another from the series, this time showing Uriah Heep, from David Copperfield.

Another watercolour by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke), this time depicting the character of Tony Weller, from The Pickwick ...
24/12/2016

Another watercolour by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke), this time depicting the character of Tony Weller, from The Pickwick Papers and currently on display at Portsmouth Museum.

A fantastic watercolour c.1920 by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke) depicting the characters of Fagin and Bill Sykes, from Oli...
23/12/2016

A fantastic watercolour c.1920 by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke) depicting the characters of Fagin and Bill Sykes, from Oliver Twist, currently on display in the Prints and Drawing Room at Portsmouth Museum.

Fagin as imagined by Charles A.Buchel in 1910. From Oliver Twist
22/12/2016

Fagin as imagined by Charles A.Buchel in 1910. From Oliver Twist

A lovely character illustration of Alfred Jungle, from The Pickwick Papers, by Frederick George Kitton, dated to 1910.
21/12/2016

A lovely character illustration of Alfred Jungle, from The Pickwick Papers, by Frederick George Kitton, dated to 1910.

While rummaging in the Dickens archive we came across this children's booklet written in Russian by Sergi Orlovsky in Mo...
20/12/2016

While rummaging in the Dickens archive we came across this children's booklet written in Russian by Sergi Orlovsky in Moscow 1912. It depicts the life of Charles Dickens.

This large toby jug was recently donated to the museum by a local collector. It is of the character Micawber from David ...
12/11/2016

This large toby jug was recently donated to the museum by a local collector. It is of the character Micawber from David Copperfield. Micawber was modelled on Dickens' father John Dickens, who was also incarcerated in debtors' prison after failing to meet his creditors demands.

Fagin as featured in Oliver Twist. 'A villainous old Jewish "fence" and trainer of youthful thieves; a "merry old gentle...
11/11/2016

Fagin as featured in Oliver Twist. 'A villainous old Jewish "fence" and trainer of youthful thieves; a "merry old gentleman" with moments of humour, mainly of a grim professional kind. Baffled in his attempts to lure Oliver Twist into a life of crime, he incites Sikes to murder Nancy, and thus paves his own way to the scaffold. "Fagin's last night alive" is terrible in its intensity. Once read it can never be forgotten'. From an illustrated Players cigarette card. Whilst the Birthplace is closed now for Winter you can see still see a selection of character illustrations on display at Portsmouth City Museum, until March 2017.

Oliver Twist is undeniably one of Dickens' most well-known characters. 'Born and bred in a provincial workhouse; sufferi...
10/11/2016

Oliver Twist is undeniably one of Dickens' most well-known characters. 'Born and bred in a provincial workhouse; suffering every description of want, hardship and cruelty; poor little Oliver, upon a certain historic occasion "asked for more" and promptly fell from the frying-pan into the fire-from the workshouse into the world'. There are several character illustrations from Oliver Twist by Kyd, Frederick Barnard and George Cruikshank currently on display at Portsmouth City Museum, until March 2017.

The portly character of Mr Bumble from Dickens' Oliver Twist who 'marries shrewish Mrs.Corney, the matron; rises to the ...
09/11/2016

The portly character of Mr Bumble from Dickens' Oliver Twist who 'marries shrewish Mrs.Corney, the matron; rises to the mastership of the workhouse; and after draining the cup of matrimonial bitterness to its very dregs, ends his days a pauper inmate of the establishment which once trembled at his frown'. From a series of John Player & Sons cigarette cards, illustrated by Kyd.

Archives week is coming up, there is lots going on over at the Portsmouth History Centre, check out their events and get...
08/11/2016

Archives week is coming up, there is lots going on over at the Portsmouth History Centre, check out their events and get booking!

Explore Your Archive week is coming up again very soon. Portsmouth History Centre will be celebrating with a series of events taking place between 19-25 November.

The packed programme includes:

Saturday 19th November 11am: 'Portsmouth and the First World War' A workshop with James Daly, co-author of the brand-new Portsmouth Paper 'The Fight for Britain to the Fight for Bread: Portsmouth and the Impact of the First World War 1914-1925'.

Monday 21st November 10.30am: 'Fighting ships and incubated girls: commemorating the centenary of the death of Fred T Jane.'
A talk by Richard Brooks, the biographer of Fred T Jane.

Tuesday 22nd November 10.30 am: 'On the boats: life on board Portsmouth's ferries' A talk by Dr John Stedman.

Wednesday 23rd November 10.30 am: 'Reading Old Handwriting'
A workshop looking at Portsmouth documents of the 17th and 18th centuries led by Senior Archivist Michael Gunton.

Thursday 24th November 10.30 am: 'Your Street in 1891- The People and their Stories'
In this workshop Michael Gunton will talk about his research into the people who were living in Boulton Road, Southsea in 1891, and show how you can research other streets in the same way.

Friday 25th November 10.30 am: 'A History of the University of Portsmouth with an introduction to the University Archive'
A talk by University Archivist Anna Delaney

To book your place please contact the History Centre on 023 92 688046 or email [email protected]

This booklet accompanied the film version of Nicholas Nickleby, and is illustrated by Edward Ardizzone CBE RA, who died ...
08/11/2016

This booklet accompanied the film version of Nicholas Nickleby, and is illustrated by Edward Ardizzone CBE RA, who died on this day in 1979. It was produced by the Ealing Studios in 1947 as promotional material for the movie. Edward Ardizzone was an English printmaker and illustrator of children's books. He produced many drawings for Punch magazine and the Radio Times and was an official war artist in WWII. In later life he illustrated and wrote his own series of children's books alongside doing artwork for the 'Little Book' series written by Graham Greene.

The building illustrated here is Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire. Home of the Hon. Mr and Mrs Watson, who were both ...
07/11/2016

The building illustrated here is Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire. Home of the Hon. Mr and Mrs Watson, who were both good friends of Dickens. He paid frequent visits to the house, and arranged amateur theatricals in the Great Hall. It is depicted and fully described in 'Bleak House' as Chesney Wold, the home of Lady Dedlock. From a cigarette card illustrated with 'Historic Places from Dickens Cassics', from a series of 50 and issued by The Spinnet House Cigarette Company. This illustration is currently on display at Portsmouth City Museum until March 2017.

The Artful Dodger is one of Dickens' most well-known characters. The illustration here by Kyd featured on a Player's cig...
07/11/2016

The Artful Dodger is one of Dickens' most well-known characters. The illustration here by Kyd featured on a Player's cigarette card and was part of a series of 50 characters from Dickens. On the reverse the character description reads: 'The Artful Dodger-otherwise Master John Dawkins-is the smartest and downiest of all Fagin's promising pupils. Long "wanted", he eventually "falls" over a "common twopenny-halfpenny sneeze box", yet falls with a dignity and majestic impudence worthy even his great reputation'.

Although we are shut for the winter you can always pop along to our sister museum, Portsmouth City museum to see an exhi...
26/10/2016

Although we are shut for the winter you can always pop along to our sister museum, Portsmouth City museum to see an exhibition of illustrations for Dickens' stories.

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum's cover photo
26/10/2016

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum's cover photo

Today we are celebrating the prolific talent and career of British book illustrator George Cruikshank, who was born on t...
28/09/2016

Today we are celebrating the prolific talent and career of British book illustrator George Cruikshank, who was born on this day in 1792.
As a young man he followed in the footsteps of his father Isaac Cruikshank, who was a significant 18th century caricaturist. He focused his talent into book illustration and gained a reputation for his social and often acerbic caricatures of English life, politicians and the Royal family. Cruikshank became friends with Charles Dickens and as a result illustrated Sketches By Boz and Oiliver Twist. You can see examples of his work currently on display at Portsmouth City Museum in a new display titled 'Charles Dickens: The Art of the Story' which focuses on some of the characters and places from Dickens' novels. The image here is an engraving from 1838 by Cruikshank and is titled 'Fagin in his cell'.

Today's featured Dickens' character is Dick Swiveller from 'The Old Curiosity Shop'. The illustration here is from a cig...
06/09/2016

Today's featured Dickens' character is Dick Swiveller from 'The Old Curiosity Shop'. The illustration here is from a cigarette card issued by John Player & Sons. On the reverse is written: " Glorious Dick! Immortal, bacchanlian Richard, all hail! Though fate sports with you as an October wind with a fallen leaf; though mocking Quilp fools you, and oily Brass cuts you suddenly adrift, do you not find a Marchioness in the end? A Marchioness, and a snug cottage at Hampstead? Go to them! May the wing of friendhip never moult a feather!"

A photoprint of actor Geo Belmore in the role of 'Daniel Peggoty' from David Copperfield, c.1880.
05/09/2016

A photoprint of actor Geo Belmore in the role of 'Daniel Peggoty' from David Copperfield, c.1880.

Another illustration from the Oliver Twist series by George Cruikshank, titled 'Oliver plucks up a spirit'. The image de...
04/09/2016

Another illustration from the Oliver Twist series by George Cruikshank, titled 'Oliver plucks up a spirit'. The image depicts the scene in the Sowersby residence with Noah Claypole goading Oliver over the death of his mother. Whilst Cruikshank was an esteemed illustrator he had difficulty capturing children, and as such they often looked like miniature adults. This coloured aqua-tint is from the permanent collection.

In the permanent collection we have quite a few works by George Cruikshank, who did all 24 illustrations for Oliver Twis...
03/09/2016

In the permanent collection we have quite a few works by George Cruikshank, who did all 24 illustrations for Oliver Twist, originally published in monthly parts from February 1837-April 1839. Today's featured image titled 'Oliver escapes being bound apprentice to the sweep' is a perfect example of Cruikshank's style.

This watercolour is of the Old Theatre Royal, Portsmouth in 1827. It shows the exterior of the theatre and the street ou...
02/09/2016

This watercolour is of the Old Theatre Royal, Portsmouth in 1827. It shows the exterior of the theatre and the street outside. The theatre was visited by Dickens and was inspiration for parts of 'Nicholas Nickleby'. Artist unknown, from the permanent collection.

Another illustration from The Spinet House Cigarette Co.Ltd. This card depicts the Yard of the Angel Hotel, Bury St.Edmu...
24/07/2016

Another illustration from The Spinet House Cigarette Co.Ltd. This card depicts the Yard of the Angel Hotel, Bury St.Edmunds. On the reverse it reads 'Mr.Pickwick stayed at the Angel Hotel at Bury St.Edmunds, when he went in search of that great adventurer, Alfred Jingle. It was in the yard of the inn, that Sam Weller, while washing beneath this pump, first met Jingle's accomplice, Job Trotter, who by a clever trick, lured Mr. Pickwick on a wild goose chase, to a Ladies' School at midnight'.

We came across another series of cigarette cards which illustrate the places depicted in Charles Dickens works. The one ...
23/07/2016

We came across another series of cigarette cards which illustrate the places depicted in Charles Dickens works. The one featured is No.31 from a series of 50 and depicts Mrs Todger's Boarding House, Near the Monument, London. The description on the reverse reads ' In a "kind of paved yard near the Monument" was the commercial boarding house of Mrs. Todgers, to which Pecksniff went with his daughters, Charity and Mercy, as related in "Martin Chuzzlewit". It was probably situated in King's Head Court, but there are no boarding houses there now, only offices'. These were issued by The Spinet House, Cigarette Crd Co. Ltd. c.1920.

Today's illustration is of Charles Dickens himself, when he would have been in his mid 50's. This is an early colour pho...
22/07/2016

Today's illustration is of Charles Dickens himself, when he would have been in his mid 50's. This is an early colour photoprint based originally on an oil painting after Matt Morgan

Another early photograph from the permanent collection. This one dated c.1865 shows Kate Dickens, Charles Dickens' daugh...
21/07/2016

Another early photograph from the permanent collection. This one dated c.1865 shows Kate Dickens, Charles Dickens' daughter, who would have been in her late 20's when this was taken. Her dress is wonderful and really gives her a sense of importance, perhaps even making her appear slighly older than she actually was.

This sepia photograph is of Kate Earle, who was for many years cook to Charles Dickens, at Gad's Hill. The photograph is...
20/07/2016

This sepia photograph is of Kate Earle, who was for many years cook to Charles Dickens, at Gad's Hill. The photograph is from c.1865 and was produced by J.A. Melton of Chatham.

While looking through the archive I came across this lovely little watercolour of Charles Dickens, painted on silk and d...
15/07/2016

While looking through the archive I came across this lovely little watercolour of Charles Dickens, painted on silk and dated c.1930. From the museum's permanent collection

In memory of Charles Dickens, who died #onthisday in 1870. "The most important thing in life is to stop saying "I wish" ...
09/06/2016

In memory of Charles Dickens, who died #onthisday in 1870. "The most important thing in life is to stop saying "I wish" and start saying "I will"... quote from Charles Dickens.
The image is titled 'The Empty Chair' by Sir Luke Fildes (1843-1927) showing Dickens' study, desk and chair standing empty after the death of the author.

A stipple engraving by Edwin Roffe, dated 1890. The small illustration in the bottom left corner shows Dickens at the ag...
08/05/2016

A stipple engraving by Edwin Roffe, dated 1890. The small illustration in the bottom left corner shows Dickens at the age of 25, and the larger central image is when he was 41 years old.

Address

393 Old Commercial Road
Portsmouth
PO1 4QL

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:30
Saturday 10:00 - 17:30
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

02392 827261

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