#23 Sir John Soane’s Museum

My name is Sarah Buck and I would like to adopt the Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Sir John Soane's Museum (Image courtesy of Ewan Munro via Flickr)

Sir John Soane’s Museum (Image courtesy of Ewan Munro via Flickr)


Tell us a bit more about yourself

I am about to turn 35 or halfway to 70, and live in Adelaide, Australia. I have 2 degrees one science and the other nursing though I find the nursing hours much more agreeable to enjoying life than the dedication required for science. I guess this makes me more of a hedonist. I know little about history or museums, but I do know what I like!

Tell us a bit more about your adopted museum
I do like the John Soane’s Museum, London, England because it tickles that bit of my personality that loves to surprise. I believe in looking ordinary, then being anything but! This museum is the home of Sir John Soane and houses his eclectic collections made while travelling the globe and studying architecture through the ages. It is free to visit and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays except on public holidays.

Why have you chosen to adopt this museum?
I was first taken to this museum by my cousin in London, he is a lecturer in Jewellery design at Central St Martins and passionate about all aspects of design. As you stroll across Lincoln’s Inn field it looks similar to many of the traditional London Townhouses that surround the square. But one or two ornate facets on the outside give little warning for the explosion of details on the inside. As his London home from 1792-1837 he re-built it 3 times during his life so the building has it’s own quirks with an elliptical stair case, domed ceilings and light wells. He also built an awesome collection of antiquities, art, models and casts from throughout the ages detailing many aspects of design. From Seti I’s sarcophagus to 30,000 historical architects drawings, various models and casts of ornate building furniture as well as an extensive selection of period art and household furniture. Sir John Soanes started cataloguing and presenting his collections through out his lifetime and left his house as a museum to teach future students of architecture, painting and sculpture. The current aim of the museum is to preserve the house as he left it to continue doing just that.

Why would you recommend people visit?
I would recommend anyone to explore this museum, being free and in the centre of London a 10 minute walk from Covent Garden or 4 minute from Holburn tube station, it is a great way to while away a few hours on a drizzley cold day in London. For those with a passion for architecture and design it is a maze of treasures with little warning of what to expect crammed into the next room. A treasure trove of eclectic pieces of all ages, from Egyptian times to the early 1800’s. I am not sure it is a particularly small child friendly museum, due to the vast amount of things on display and it mostly being of traditional viewing museum but they do have a junior audio guide specifically for children, depending on the child I would suggest that probably a minimum age for it to be an enjoyable visit for all would be seven.

How would you sum up your museum in three words?
Endearing, eclectic, crazed.

(Image Source: Ewan Munro on Flickr via Creative Commons)

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  • Sonia Barahona

    I totally agree. Just I would like to add something. There’s a candlelit opening on the first Tuesday evening of each month, 6-9pm. It’s magical.

  • Theresa

    Amazing, I can’t wait to go! I think on one Tuesday night each month they light the museum with candles, as it would have been back in the day – ooooee. Great choice Sarah