Dickens House

Dickens House Museum celebrates Charles Dickens' long connection with Broadstairs (1837-1851). It is housed in the cottage that was Charles Dickens' inspiration for the home of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. According to the reminiscences of Charles Dickens son Charley, they regularly had tea there with Miss Mary Pearson Strong, and her belief of her right to stop the passage of donkeys in front of her cottage became the donkey incident for the character of Betsey Trotwood.

The parlour, described by Dickens and illustrated by Phiz, will be known to readers of David Copperfield. The cupboard in the corner may be recognised as the "press" from which Miss Betsey produced the concoctions she gave poured down the throat of young David Copperfield.

Visitors will see items that once belonged to Charles Dickens including letters written about Broadstairs, his writing box and mahogany sideboard, along with a fine collection of prints by H K Browne (Phiz), one of Dickens' principal illustrators. There are also displays of Dickensian memorabilia, Victorian costumes and Victoriana, as well as a feature on "Our English Watering Place". It was in 1851 that Charles Dickens wrote this affectionate record of the town and its inhabitants. The museum is has a gift shop and is staffed by volunteers who are passionate about Charles Dickens and are happy to guide visitors around the unique house.

Bleak House was originally called Fort House and was the residence of a captain of one of the two coastal forts guarding Broadstairs, the town in which it is situate. Charles Dickens spent Summer holidays at Fort House in the 1850s and 1860s and it was there in that "airy nest" above the harbour that he wrote perhaps his most meritous work, David Copperfield. Fort House was dubbed Bleak House in the early part of the 20th Century. Somebody asserted that it was the Bleak House referred to in Dickens' 1853 novel and the name stuck. There has been much dispute over the truth of the testimony. Some people believe that the house from which Dickens' took his inspiration is far distant from Broadstairs. What can be certain is that the house held a special attraction for Dickens and was the residence he "most desired" in his most favourite of watering places, Broadstairs.

For much of the 20th century Bleak House was in two quite distinct parts, serving as both a private residence and a Dickens memorial museum. In 2012 the current owners opened the house as a wedding venue and guest house.

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Opening Times

Daily Good Friday - May 1-4.30pm
Daily June - 14th September 10am to 5pm
Weekends: 15th September -November 1-4.30pm
Closed: December to March
Open all year round for group bookings.


  • Guided tours
  • Groups welcome
  • Coaches welcome
  • Gift shop

Entry Price
Adults: £3.75
Children: £2.10
Groups:£2.10 under 16’s £3 adults.
Child range: 0-16
Min Group size: 10

2 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, CT10 1QS
Telephone: 01843 863 453

Closest train station: Broadstairs

www.1victoriahouse.com - 1vh.co.uk - www.flats-to-let.com
+44 7958 500 900  -  +44 20 3432 4146