This elegant Grade 1 Listed Georgian house was the home of Erasmus Darwin – physician, scientist, inventor and poet, and grandfather of Charles Darwin.
Erasmus Darwin lived in this house in the heart of Lichfield from 1756 to 1781, adding the elegant Palladian frontage to the original half-timbered building. Darwin was a leading physician, scientist (advancing the hypothesis of evolution in 1770), inventor of mechanical devices, a poet admired by Coleridge, and the co-founder of the influential Lunar Society.
The displays emphasise Erasmus Darwin’s genius and relevance for today. In the library are early editions of works by Erasmus and Charles Darwin which outline the development of evolutionary theory, as well as biographical writings that have been passed down through the family. There are plans to install a full-size interactive model of Darwin's speaking machine – a mechanical larynx that reproduced human sounds.