Sir John Soane's Museum ExteriorFrom antiquities to oddities, take a journey through Sir John Soane’s timeless legacy.

Sir John Soane’s Museum, nestled next to Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Holborn, London, is a historic house turned museum that once belonged to the eminent neo-classical architect John Soane. This extraordinary space offers a glimpse into the life and work of the visionary English architect who built and resided in the same house two centuries ago. It has been meticulously preserved to reflect its state at the time of Soane’s demise. When you step inside, prepare to be enchanted by a treasure trove of antiquities, furniture, sculptures, architectural models, and paintings.

Sir John Soane's Museum interior

Sir John Soane was born September 10, 1753, in Goring, Oxfordshire, England—died January 20, 1837, in London. Soane was an English architect who specialized in the Neo-Classical style. Rising to the top of his profession, he became a professor of architecture at the Royal Academy and an official architect for the Office of Works. His best-known works include the Bank of England (though much has been destroyed) and the Dulwich Picture Gallery, significantly influencing subsequent art galleries and museums. Soane’s most enduring legacy is his home, where he displayed the art and architectural artifacts he collected during his lifetime. Described as “one of the most complex, intricate, and ingenious series of interiors ever conceived,” the house museum showcases his inventive approach to design.

Sir John Soane's Museum dome room.Sir John Soane’s Museum dome area looking up.

The heart of the museum lies in its vast collection of over 30,000 architectural drawings. These intricate blueprints highlight Soane’s creative genius and provide insight into his groundbreaking projects. As you wander through the rooms, you’ll encounter works by renowned artists such as HogarthTurnerand Canaletto. Their paintings grace the walls, adding an artistic dimension to the architectural marvels on display.

Sir John Soane's Musuem interior

One of the museum’s recent highlights is the spectacular Drawing Office, which has been painstakingly restored. This historic space, the oldest surviving example of its kind, is now available for public tours for the first time in its 200-year history. Imagine standing where Soane himself once sketched his visionary designs. Additionally, the Drawing Office hosts two Artists-in-Residence each year, ensuring that Soane’s legacy of creativity continues to thrive within the museum’s walls.

Sir John Soane's Drawing OfficeSir John Soane’s drawing office.

Sir John Soane’s Museum is a remarkable place where the past converges with the present. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, an art lover, or someone seeking inspiration, this hidden gem promises an unforgettable journey through time and imagination.

Sir John Soane portrait by Christopher William HunnemanSir John Soane portrait by Christopher William Hunneman

If you’d like to explore the Sir John Soane’s Museum with us, we are heading there as part of our Antique Adventures Tour of London and Wales from August 29 through September 5, 2024. Learn more about the tour and register here.

Related:

A London Antiquing Adventure Awaits You 

Uncovering the Charms of Grays Antique Market 

Kensington Palace Unveiled: Where Royalty Roamed 

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