Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Sir John Soane Museum


Thanks for visiting.

Having visited the Sir John Soane Museum five years ago when the £7 million restoration project had been underway a short time, I have been interested to see how things have changed in this extraordinary place. I just couldn't believe my eyes the first time I set foot in Sir John Soane's home, the architect who designed the Bank of England and Dulwich Picture Gallery and inspired the design of our red telephone boxes among other things.  How could anyone possibly live in a place with so many twists and turns, sky lights, choc-a-bloc full of antiquities, paintings and curiosities, even the sarcophagus of King Seti I?

Over the years, the three joined houses opposite Lincoln's Inn Fields have been restored and objects placed back in their original positions from when Sir John opened his collection to his students and negotiated an Act of Parliament so that it would remain exactly as he left it for all to enjoy free of charge after his death.  September 2016 saw the completion of the work with the opening of the kitchens used by his family servants.

A new digital 3D Explore Soane viewer is currently being constructed and two rooms are available to view, here's a link.

There are a few surprises within the collection. The painting room includes  work by Canaletto and Turner and behind huge doors covered with paintings is The Rakes Progress by Hogarth which can be hidden away when the doors are closed. The 'Naseby Jewel' said to have been dropped by King Charles I at the Battle of Naseby is also part of the collection but it is the shere number of exhibits that amazes.

They run candlelit tours once a month which must be quite spooky.

Photo taken from museum website

Interestingly for me, Sir John Soane was born in Goring on Thames in 1753, the son of a bricklayer, and he attended a private school in Reading run by William Baker. The Simeon monument in Market Square was designed by him.



  1. I bet those candlelit tours are quite spooky but fascinating too:)

    1. I think they are quite popular. I wonder if everyone has a candle, sounds as bit dangerous doesn't it. 😊

  2. I quite like the idea of a candlelit tour, adds to the adventure.

    1. It is a great idea with all the narrow passages to negotiate and sculptures looking so eerie in the soft light.