The Fan Museum
Hooray. The fan museum’s just been voted Small Visitor Attraction of the Year by VisitLondon. And it deserves it too – a delightfully dinky kind of place that’s ideal to take your mum to when she visits (leave Dad at home.) It’s situated on Crooms Hill, nearly opposite the Theatre, and is just about as cute as a button.
An old 18th century house that got pretty run-down in the middle part of the 20th Century, it’s been gorgeously restored and opened as a perfect little jewel of a museum. There are so many “masculine” attractions in and around Greenwich – The Maritime Museum, the Cutty Sark, Firepower etc, reflecting the area’s military and maritime past, that it’s a joy to find a museum dedicated to total frippery.
There are cases depicting the history and manufacture of fans, and upstairs a splendid and beautifully-kept-and-curated exhibition space, where examples of pretty much any kind of fan you’d care to mention jostle with a continuing series of ever-changing exhibitions, which just goes to show that nothing is too small to specialise further.
They do workshops for both children and adults in the delicate art of fan-making and have occasional lectures and other events. There is a nice-looking tea room in the orangery which I am sure is very civilised, but keeps such eccentric opening hours that I have never managed to catch it actually serving beverages…