The architect Sir John Soane's works include The Bank of England and the Dulwich Picture Gallery however his own former home in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, now a museum open to the public, is perhaps his most wondrous.
Sir John Soane's Museum has been described as "the most ingenious domestic architecture in Britain" and it is not hard to see why. The house is full of architectural surprises, mirrors creating the illusion of space, and nooks and crannies hiding spectacular artefacts. In the Picture Room, movable wall panels conceal a collection of paintings large enough to fill a room three times the size. Whilst Soane is not the best-known British Architect, some have thought he had the greatest imagination.
The house showcases his vast collection of antiquities, sculptures, architectural models and drawings, and paintings including masterpieces by Hogarth, Canaletto and Turner.
One of the most astounding objects in the house is the sarcophagus of a Pharoah in the basement, that of Seti l. It had been offered first to the British Museum in 1824, but they had rejected it as the £2000 price was too high; to get the sarcophagus into the house involved the demolition of one of the walls.
A few years back we had the opportunity to take a 360 degree panorama of Sir John Soane's Museum before it was open to the public, and we chose the Dome area - you can see it here. We were thrilled when the eminent US film critic Roger Ebert mentioned it on his personal website after his trip to London!
The Museum is currently closed due to COVID 19 and due to reopen on October 1. We really recommend a visit when it reopens, you won't be disappointed. It can be included on one of our flexible, private tours of London with one of our expert tour guides
British Tours Ltd