Sutton House Queered

Munroe Bergdorf, transgender model and DJ,  at Sutton House

Sutton House has always had a bit of an identity crisis. The oldest house in Hackney has been through many changes, which makes it one of the most unusual and unexpected National Trust houses. Much like Sutton House’s varied and colourful history, the word Queer is fluid and ever-changing and the definition is continuously contested. Queer is a way of thinking about things in unexpected ways.

Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard is launching a yearlong programme of exhibitions and events developed by, with and for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) communities.

As part of the National Trust’s Prejudice and Pride programme, marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, Sutton House Queered aims to question and disrupt, challenge and celebrate.

What’s on in February?

Throughout February, Sutton House will host a variety of artworks from LGBTQ people, including a photographic exhibition of black trans activist Munroe Bergdorf by photographer Sarah Moore; artworks by Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard volunteer Kev Clarke, and paintings by a member of our over 55 community group the Recycled Teenagers, Victor Zagon. 

You will also be able to experience a sound installation in the Gardrobe, thought to be the oldest toilet in Hackney, to launch our gender neutral toilet. 

The February exhibitions and installations also provide an introduction to the four seasons that will run throughout 2017.

Come to our launch event

What’s happening in the rest of 2017?

This spring, there will be an exploration of the themes of fluid identities in an Alice theme photography exhibit as part of our Curiouser and Curiouser: An Alice in Wonderland inspired Easter (15 March to 30 April).

In the summer, join the School of Anarchy- the Summer of Empowerment (26 July to 3 September), celebrating queer art and activism.

Then in autumn, come to Save the Last Dance: Memorials to Lost, Legendary Nights Out (October), where we mourn the vanishing queer spaces in London, inspired by the Save Sutton House group, who saved this Tudor treasure for the community when it was under threat from luxury apartment developers in the late 1980s.

Can you help us?

We will also be launching a call our for LGBTQ artists and performers to get involved in Sutton House Queered throughout the summer and autumn, and an opportunity to add your voices to future exhibitions.

Contact Sean Curran, our Community Learning Officer if you'd like to get involved.

Our LGBTQ programme has already attracted criticisms from those who do not consider LGBTQ histories worthy of preservation. We think it’s important to tell these stories, and invite you to join us in celebrating the contributions of LGBTQ people to history, art and culture and to recognise the importance of making these narratives visible in heritage spaces.

Upcoming events

Self-guided visits

Thu 21 Feb 2019
After a brief introduction from a Sutton House expert, explore the oldest house in Hackney at your own pace. Experience Tudor, Georgian, Victorian and 1980s historic rooms. Entry includes access to our exhibition about Clive Jenkins and the ASTMS...

Twilight Tours of Sutton House

Fri 22 Feb 2019
Experience Hackney's oldest home as darkness falls with a tour led by a Sutton House expert. Learn about past residents from 500 years of history and the many unique ways the house has been used, including as a home to Thomas Cromwell's right...

Guided Tour of Sutton House

Sat 23 Feb 2019
Experience Hackney's oldest home with a tour led by a Sutton House expert. Learn about past residents from 500 years of history and the many unique ways the house has been used, including as a home to Thomas Cromwell's right hand man, a...

Queer(er) Squatting: an evening of talks about LGBTQ+ squatting

Fri 22 Mar 2019
Squatting has been used as a tactic by many LGBTQ people not only to survive but also to experiment with creating spaces in which they could thrive. This discussion will feature three queer speakers with histories of squatting across London....

Groundlings Theatre presents An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Wed 27 Mar 2019
Groundlings Theatre are proud to present Oscar Wilde’s comedic classic that brings an act of political sin into the heart of the English home.

Bellini's Romeo and Juliet

Sun 07 Apr 2019
Opera Holloway present a thrilling and passionate interpretation of the classic love story, as depicted by Bellini, one of Opera's true legends.