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Sir John Soane’s Museum

  • Museums
  • Holborn
  • price 0 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
    © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  2. © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
    © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  3. © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
    © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  4. Hogarth's A Rake's Progress
    Hogarth's A Rake's Progress

    Henry Hudson, A Rake's Progress: The Levée, plasticine on canvas, 2011

  5. © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
    © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  6. Sir John Soane bust © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
    Sir John Soane bust © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  7. The library © Martin Charles
    The library © Martin Charles
  8. © George Scharf
    © George Scharf
  9. © Martin Charles
    © Martin Charles
  10. A model of The Pantheon
    A model of The Pantheon

    François 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.


13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
Tube: Holborn
Free, £12.50 tours
Opening hours:
Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
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What’s on

Georgian Illuminations

A charming exhibition showcasing the historic light shows which used to take place at royal entertainments, pleasure gardens and national celebrations during the Georgian era. It includes the intricately designed architectural structures which were created for them, including one by Soane, this museum's namesake, himself. With the museum's façade set to be illuminated thanks a contemporary commission by light artist Nayan Kulkarni, this exhibition is sure to dazzle. 

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