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Sir John Soane’s Museum

Museums, History Holborn Free
5 out of 5 stars
 (© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
 (© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
 (© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
 (Hogarth's A Rake's Progress )
Hogarth's A Rake's Progress Henry Hudson, A Rake's Progress: The Levée, plasticine on canvas, 2011
 (© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
 (Sir John Soane bust © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
Sir John Soane bust © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
 (The library © Martin Charles)
The library © Martin Charles
 (© George Scharf)
© George Scharf
 (© Martin Charles)
© Martin Charles
 (A model of The Pantheon)
A model of The PantheonFrançois Fouquet, Copy of the Pantheon at Rome

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

When he wasn’t designing notable buildings (among them the original Bank of England), Sir John Soane (1753-1837) obsessively collected art, furniture and architectural ornamentation. In the nineteenth century, he turned his house into a museum to which, he said, ‘amateurs and students’ should have access. The result is this perfectly amazing place.

Much of the museum’s appeal derives from the domestic setting. The modest rooms were modified by Soane with ingenious devices to channel and direct daylight, and to expand space, including walls that open out like cabinets to display some of his many paintings (Canaletto, Turner, Hogarth). The Breakfast Room has a beautiful domed ceiling, inset with convex mirrors. The extraordinary Monument Court contains a sarcophagus of alabaster, so fine that it’s almost translucent, that was carved for the pharaoh Seti I (1291-78 BC) and discovered in his tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. There are also numerous examples of Soane’s eccentricity, not least the cell for his imaginary monk ‘Padre Giovanni’.

In May 2015 the Museum opened Soane's private apartment and Model Room to the public. The apartments had not been open to visitors for over 160 years, so guests paying a visit to the fully restored model room, bedroom, bathroom, book passage, oratory and morning room will get a true glimpse of London's past.



Address: 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
Transport: Tube: Holborn
Price: Free, £12.50 tours
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
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