"Sir John Soane's Museum" Sir John Soane's Museum Tip by Durfun

Sir John Soane's Museum, London: 17 reviews and 27 photos

  Back of the queue. Where's Soane's house??
by Durfun
 
  • Back of the queue.  Where's Soane's house?? - London
      Back of the queue. Where's Soane's house??
    by Durfun
  • It's all 3 houses here.. No.12, 13 & 14!! - London
      It's all 3 houses here.. No.12, 13 & 14!!
    by Durfun
  • Close-up of the Museum (Nos. 12, 13, 14) - London
      Close-up of the Museum (Nos. 12, 13, 14)
    by Durfun
  • Park seat in front of the museum behind! - London
      Park seat in front of the museum behind!
    by Durfun
  • Park (Lincoln's Inn Fields) in front of the museum - London
      Park (Lincoln's Inn Fields) in front of the museum
    by Durfun
 

A very unique & unusual museum.

This was the renowned architect's residence from the regency period. He bequeathed it to the nation after his demise, for the benefit of students of art & archutecture. The interior has been left exactly the way it was while he lived there.

John Soane redesigned his house from inside, and even from outside you can see the distinct look he created for his dwelling. He ended up purchasing 3 adjoining terraced houses to create the area we can visit.

The library has extensive archives of his work & drawings. All the rooms are so different, especially the lounge on the first floor, the dining room, breakfast room, etc.

Lots of sculptures & paintings are neated displayed all over. The basement has been tastefully extended so that it is lit from above (area extended outwards at the rear of the property). There is a sarcophagus of an Egyptian emperor that Soane bought for 2000 UKP when the British Museum refused to pay that amount! He proudly displayed it for a month after taking delivery!

On the first floor you can learn about the different capitals used for columns in architecture, and how to distinguish between them (eg tuscan, doric, ionic, corinthian, composite, and also fancy ones like ammonite).

Being a francophile, he purchased a ring with a snippet of Napolean Bonaparte's hair enclosed within. This is displayed for us to see!!

There is an impressive collection of paintings from some of the masters.

Among his furniture, I was surprised to see an Indian 18th century set of chairs with table, complete in ivory!! Must be extremely valuable!!

Soane has also exhibited the writing desk of Robert Walpole, a British PM!

The first floor also has a study area in the front, for people to sit & flick through books containing architectural drawings & sketches. Behind it is a gift shop selling lots of articles & books.

On the floors above are the bedrooms.

One can hire use of the large dining room on the ground floor for private functions!!

*** NOTE: no photography is allowed inside whatsoever.

Hours: 1000-1630 Mon-Sat

Maximum people allowed inside is 60-70, so to manage numbers they let in 2-4 people at a time when an equal number exits!!

Also, this museum is quite popular, so try to get here early in the morning, as there was a queue in mid-winter on a rainy day!!

* The park in front is quite spacious, with several benches, a covered bandstand, and a lovely memorial seat for a certain lady! Below the sculpture of the lady surrounded by 9 toddlers, it says "This seat is placed here in memory of Margaret MacDonald who spent her life in helping others".

Address: 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
Directions: Just off Kingsway, 3 minute walk from Holborn underground (signposted). As you walk down the narrow alley (Remnant Street), it opens up with the big square in the middle. Stay on the left strip of the road & keep walking up to no 13!!
Phone: +44 20 7405 2107
Website: http://www.soane.org/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 21, 2010
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