One of London’s most intriguing museums, Sir John Soane’s Museum provides a gateway into the mind of one of the city’s foremost creatives, compiling items from his personal collection together for visitors to explore for themselves. Here’s everything you need to know about this unique space…
What is Sir John Soane’s Museum?
The museum is the former home of Sir John Soane and is situated in Holborn. It was first developed during the late1700s and early 1800s, when Soane demolished three houses and built his own in their place. It was originally conceived as a mixture of home, office and museum by the man himself, before being privatised during his lifetime in 1833 thanks to the sheer variety of the items on offer and the architectural significance of the space.
Who was John Soane?
Soane was a noted architect of his era, popular for the neo-classical style which he helped champion throughout England. He is perhaps best known for his work on the Bank of England and the Dulwich Picture Gallery, which can also be seen while visiting the M by Montcalm Shoreditch. Soane decided to hand the building over to the government in an effort to protect its treasures, following a long-running feud with his son and heir which he felt threatened the preservation of the house in its current state.
Events at the Museum
The museum is constantly running new events, many of which focus on both the items within and the history of London itself. After parking in Shoreditch we highly recommend checking whether any of these events are running during your stay, as they make for fascinating ways to discover more about the city.
What will I see at the museum?
There’s a lot to see while you’re here, as the space has been kept exactly as it was at the time of Soane’s death. During his lifetime, Soane collected various fascinating antiquities, architectural items, sculptures, furniture and artworks, including pieces by some of the world’s foremost artists. A visit is a great way to truly immerse yourself in local culture while staying in the area, and we recommend heading here after exploring the delights of Brick Lane Market for a great London day out.
Key objects at the museum
Some of the top items on display include paintings by Turner, Hogarth and Canaletto, as well as over 300 drawings. There is also a research library on-site. The space is run by trustees with a small staff of volunteers who love the objects stored here just as much as Soane did. In total, there are more than 40,000 objects to discover, each of them with their own story to tell. There’s also lots to find out about Soane’s own life, and the buildings he designed. Whether you’re an avid design fan or simply eager to see an unusual and entrancing attraction while you’re in the city, this is a great way to do both.