Literary Prize 2023: SUBMISSIONS OPEN

The deadline for our Annual Literary Prize is fast approaching, but worry not! There is still over a month left before submissions close on Friday 15th December 2023 at 23:59.

Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The competition is exclusively for young writers, aged 18-25, with a first prize of £750, and a second prize of £500. Winning entries will be published on our website.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize is held in association with The Telegraph and endowed by Benjamin Franklin House Chairman John Studzinski, a leading executive and philanthropist.

2023 Competition

The Franklin quote for interpretation in 2022 is “Government must depend for its Efficiency either on Force or Opinion.” From ‘The Colonist’s advocate’, VII. (Feb 1, 1770)

Please find details of how to enter below:

  • Entries of 1000-1500 words must be sent to by 23:59 on Wednesday 15th November
  • Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK
  • Each Entrant is asked to provide their name, preferred email, postal address and phone number within the email and the entry attached as a word document. In addition entrants should provide their age and place of study (if applicable; if they are not in education, they should provide a biographical note explaining their current activities)
  • Entrants may submit only one entry; fiction or non-fiction

Shortlisted entries and the eventual winners will be announced in early 2024.

Please contact our Education Manager with any queries.

After Dark at Craven Street

Thursday 26 and Monday 30th October 2022, 2pm-7pm.

Are you ready to explore the darker side of Benjamin Franklin House?!  Join us for an after-hours experience this Halloween to hear of haunted happenings at our Historic House.

  • See Benjamin Franklin House transformed for the occasion and experience a eerie evening in an original Georgian home
  • Hear the spine-chilling stories of the cadavers that were found in our basement
  • Immerse yourself in our small and spooky candle-lit rooms
  • Listen to the haunting tones of Franklin’s Glass Armonica

There might even be some tasty treats (or tricks) along the way…

Your history-lovers Halloween starts here!

Limited capacity with timed entry. Book Thursday 26th or Monday 30th to secure the tour time of your choice.

£10 per person (plus booking fee), refreshments included.

Family Event: Halloween!

Trick or treat! Join us at Benjamin Franklin House for a FREE fun-filled day as we explore the history of America’s spookiest holiday and craft some terrifyingly good decorations to take home!

Discover where Halloween comes from and why we celebrate it! Ever wonder why we carve pumpkins, dress up in scary costumes, and eat lots of candy? You’ll learn the answers to these questions and more as we uncover the mysteries behind this frightfully fun festival!

Create your very own Halloween-themed decorations to take home and decoration your coffins with. Glue sticks at the ready! There will be lots of arts and crafts happening throughout the session. Make your very own Halloween card, a garland of ghosts to hang from your rafters, and a wickedly wonderful witch ornament for your window.

Our Halloween event will be running twice a day on both 25th and 26th October so BOOK NOW to secure your free ticket.


Wednesday 25th October – 11:00am-12:30pm

Wednesday 25th October – 1:30pm-3:00pm

Thursday 26th October – 11:00am-12:30pm

Thursday 26th October – 1:30pm-3:00pm

This event is most suitable for families with kids ages 5-12. However, everyone is welcome dead or alive! This a FREE event, but donations are most welcome.

Halloween Walking Tour

Discover the sights, sounds and smells of Benjamin Franklin’s 18th Century London with us on our walking tour with a Halloween spin!

From famous thoroughfares to hidden streets, you’ll uncover a layer of London history and learn about its transformation over the last 200 years.

Starting at our doorstep, our spooky guide will lead you around our local area to follow the steps Franklin and share some haunting (fun!) facts about London’s past.

Duration: 1.5 hours (approximate)

Location: Please meet outside 36 Craven Street, WC2N 5NF

Book your tickets here! –>

Three ties that bind? the relationship between the UK, US and France in a complex world


Join us for the annual Robert H Smith Lecture in Democracy which explores democracy in changing times inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s legacy as a statesman, political thinker and more.

The triumvirate relationship between the United Kingdom, the United States and France has long been a stabilising force in the western world and beyond. Ambassador Gerard Errera will discuss the current state of relations between the three countries in conversation with Benjamin Franklin House Director, Márcia Balisciano. This will be set against a backdrop of recent economic and political challenges to ultimately address the question of the future of multilateralism.

About Gerard Errera:

A career diplomat, Gérard Errera was Secretary General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and French Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He also served as the French Ambassador to NATO and Director General for Political Affairs of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was appointed “Ambassadeur de France,” a lifelong dignity, by the French President.  He is presently an international consultant.

About Márcia Balisciano:
Márcia Balisciano is founding Director of Benjamin Franklin House. She is also founding Chief Sustainability Officer at FTSE 20 global business, RELX. She holds a PhD in Economic History from the LSE and serves on the board of the Foundation for the (UN) Global Compact and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.


This event is open to all and free to attend, no ticket is required.

Seats are allocated on a first come first served basis.


Volunteers Needed!

Would you like to volunteer at Benjamin Franklin House? We have a variety of fantastic volunteering opportunities open at the House and want to hear from you!

Our volunteer team is essential to the daily running of the House. By volunteering with us you can meet new people and gain valuable heritage experience, we are currently looking for support in:

  • Front of House 
  • Social Media 
  • Education

If you are interested then keep reading!

Front of House Volunteers

As a front-of-house volunteer on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays you will be a vital aspect of our visitor experience. You will provide a warm welcome to visitors, introduce our main offering the Historical Experience and conduct Q&A sessions, process ticket bookings/sales, and more.

Autumn 2023: We are currently looking for more Front of House volunteers to assist with the running of our public offerings. Contact the Front of House Supervisor to apply or find out more about volunteering with Benjamin Franklin House.

Social Media Volunteers

As a social media volunteer you are a vital part of our community engagement.

You will create content for our TikTok and Instagram posts to help encourage visitors to Benjamin Franklin House and to promote our events!

Autumn 2023: We are currently looking for more Social Media volunteers to assist with the running of our online platforms. Contact the Front of House Supervisor to apply or find out more about volunteering with Benjamin Franklin House.

Education Volunteers

Our education volunteers support our Education Manager with workshops for KS2 pupils on Tuesdays in term time. This will involve leading engaging history and science workshops for pupils visiting the House. You will also be on hand to support our numerous Family Days which celebrate seasonal occasions such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  If you are an aspiring teacher or would like to gain experience working with young people then this is a great opportunity that covers all Key Stages.

We are currently looking for more Education Volunteers to help support our School Visits and Family Days at Benjamin Franklin House. Please email our Education Manager at to apply or find out more about volunteering.

We would like Education Volunteers to start from October/November so get in touch soon!

Virtual Talk: A Day in the Life of Benjamin Franklin

Our Education Manager, Henry Wilkinson, will be delivering a FREE virtual talk chronicling Benjamin Franklin’s life in London. Using the wealth of information that we can pluck from Franklin’s papers, the talk will explore his life in 18th century Britain.


From his morning routine, to what he would have ate for breakfast, the talk will look into the day to day living of a person living in London over 250 years ago. What food did Franklin eat? What entertainment did the city offer? Who did he dine with? What past times would he have engaged in? What did he get up to in the historic rooms of 36 Craven Street? All these questions and more will be answered from the man himself allowing us to create a day in the life of Benjamin Franklin.

The talk will last roughly 1 hour and is FREE. There will also be a Q&A session after the talk for all those wishing to uncover more about Franklin.


PLEASE NOTE: The Zoom webinar will begin at 5pm UK time.

OPEN HOUSE @ Benjamin Franklin House 2023

We’re taking part in Open House 2023!

We’ll be free to enter and open on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th; Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September.

Visitors will be able to walk around at their own leisure

This is a drop-in open day, so there is no need to pre-book. To prepare and save time upon arrival, please download our guide on Bloomberg Connects. The app offers a ‘Self-guided Tour’ which we recommend visitors follow, as well as behind the scenes content and exclusive talks.

10am – 4pm – entry times on the hour.

Plan your day here!


To Begin The World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine

Join us on the 15th October for Ian Ruskin‘s one-man play exploring the life and achievements of the great Enlightenment figure and Founding Father, Thomas Paine.

“Our world would be a less enlightened place, were it not for this man.” – Ruskin

Run time: 1h 15 followed by Q&A session

Tickets £15 –> Book now


Summer Break @ Ben’s House

This summer at Benjamin Franklin House we are running a series of historical skills workshops for all the family to enjoy!

Try your hand at writing with a quill in our Calligraphy workshop, strike a pose in our Portraiture workshop or handle some real historical artefacts in our Archaeology workshop!

All workshops are FREE, but tickets must be booked to secure a place. BOOK HERE.


Calligraphy – 10th August 2023

Explore the home of one of the most famous figure from American history, Benjamin Franklin, who lived in London for almost 16 years! Inside you will get a feel for 18th century London as well as the rooms where Franklin wrote some of his most famous letters.

Learn all about Benjamin Franklin’s life as a successful printer, author and the first US Postmaster General! You will even get a chance to see one of Benjamin Franklin’s handwritten letters up close!

Create your very own letter from the 18th century as we roll up our sleeves for some good old fashioned dip pen writing! Write a letter using parchment paper and our collection of brightly coloured quill pens! Use Georgian handwriting guides to help create some beautiful writing!


Portraiture – 17th August 2023

Explore the home of one of the most famous figure from American history, Benjamin Franklin, who lived in London for almost 16 years! Inside you will get a feel for 18th century London and find the perfect backdrop for your very own portrait!

Examine the interesting details and meanings hidden within some of the most famous paintings in the world as well as those featuring Benjamin Franklin himself!

Create a fantastic self-portrait of yourself and fill it with your very own hidden meanings and messages!


Archaeology – 24th August 2023

Unearth the secrets of 36 Craven Street. Why are there human bones in the basement? How did they get there? Who were they? We will explore the history of the undercover secret school that operated in the house whilst Franklin was in residence!

Examine real artefacts from the past to work out what they are and how old they might be!

Create your very own model of a human skeleton as we learn all about the anatomy and explore medicine in the 18th century.


Each workshop has three sessions to choose from throughout the day. If you would like to book tickets, please do so via our Eventbrite page here.