Old English Court Museum in Moscow.
There are so many beautiful buildings in Moscow that you sometimes ignore the other `not-so-impressive` buildings like The Old English Court. If it wasn`t for the sign in the court yard that caught my eye, we probably would have walked right past it. It is a simple structure without any golden domes or architecture that take your breath away. Yet in it`s simplicity it has an unusual charm.
At first the word `Court` made me think of a formal court with judges and attorneys and I couldn`t understand why there was an English Court in Russia. But off course the word `Court` also refers to `The residence of a sovereign or nobleman`. Some articles also refer to it as The British Farmstead.
History of the old english court museum in Moscow.
This building first belonged to Tsar Ivan Bobrishev. It is located in the heart of Moscow very close to Red Square and the Kremlin. Tsar Ivan, didn`t leave any heirs behind after his death and the house subsequently became the property of the government.
In 1553 the Northern Sea Route was opened which connected Russia to England. Ivan The Terrible gave the English unlimited free trade in all Russian cities in 1556. As a token of his friendship he gave this house to the first Foreign representatives and it also became a base for the merchants.
Anglo-Russian relations during the time of Ivan the Terrible.
The merchants had to maintain the palace and in return they were given every day:
- 4 sheep
- 12 chickens
- 2 geese
- 1 rabbit
- 62 loaves of bread
- 50 eggs
- a bucket of beer
- half a bucket of Vodka
- 2 buckets of honey
- a quarter of a bucket of wine
For nearly a century trade was flourishing between the two countries and many foreigners worked in Moscow as craftsmen, traders and explorers. In 1649 Tsar Aleksei ended the alliance and expelled all the foreigners from Moscow. He did this because he was upset and disgusted by the execution of Charles I. Over the years the house was remodelled many times and influencial people in the Russian history have lived here.
The Farmstead in Moscow during the times of the Soviet Union.
In the times of the Soviet Union this house was converted into apartments and if it wasn`t for the continious work of the Moscovite Pyotr Baranovsky to restore the building then its history and legacy would have been lost.
Unfortunately when we were in Moscow, the museum was closed and we couldn`t go inside. I found a couple of comments of people who went inside and this is what they had to say:
I did not expect such an interesting excursion. How many times have passed and little is known about this building.
Very nice museum, feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, and the exposition of more than interesting stories about the British Embassy in Russia.
This museum is defintely on my list when we visit Moscow again.
- Winter Months (1 October to 30 March):
Closed on Monday. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (10am to 6pm); Wednesday (12am to 8pm); Friday (11am to 7pm) and Sunday (10am to 6pm).
- Summer months (1 April to 30 September):
Closed on Monday. Tuesday and Thursday (10am to 6pm); Wednesday (1pm to 9pm); Friday (11am to 7pm); Saturday and Sunday (10am to 6pm).
Please note that the cashier will not admit you 30 minutes before the museum closes. The last Friday of each month is cleaning day and the museum is also closed to the public.
Address: ул. Варварка, д. 4 а, Moscow, Russia