The Handel House museum is located in a Georgian house in Mayfair, London and is dedicated to the composer George Frideric Handel. The museum is actually two houses, number 25 and number 23.
Number 25 was the home of Handel in the 1700s, while number 23 was the home of rock star Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s. Almost all of Handel’s works after 1723 were composed in this house including the Messiah, Zadok the Priest, and Music for the Royal Fireworks.
Handel was 38 when he moved into this house, and it was his first home. When he came to London, he was not eligible to buy a home for himself until he acquired British nationality in 1727, so he rented this house on short term leases.
After being accepted into British society, Handel bought the house and lived there for the rest of his life. After his death, his musical instruments passed to his copyist John Christopher Smith and to his son. In 1905, the house was converted into a shop by C. J. Charles, and in 1971 it was acquired by the Co-operative Insurance Society.
It is a modest Georgian townhouse with two floors, an attic above, and a basement kitchen. The largest room in the house was the first room on the first floor and it was used as a rehearsal room by Handel. It contains a reproduction of a Ruckers two-manual harpsichord which today is used for concerts and is available to any musician from the general public who wants to practice.
On the second floor, there is a dressing room and a bedroom–probably the room where Handel died–and the attic above was used as sleeping quarters for up to 3 servants.
Jimi Hendrix lived in the attic of 23 Brook Street in the 1960s. His girlfriend at the time rented the flat and he moved in with her. Hendrix loved the flat and thought of it as the only home he ever had. After some fundraising, the Heritage Lottery Fund recreated the interior of the rooms which were opened to the public in February 2016 as “Handel and Hendrix in London”.
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The houses have two blue plaques in honor of their occupants. The museum has an amazing events program including live music, educational events for children, and many exhibitions. It is open to the public six days a week.