Victoria here. reporting on our visit to Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Sir John Soane’s Museum has been the topic of several previous posts on this blog. Click here for reprise of my earlier visits.

The museum’s website is here.  You can read about the many events scheduled even in the midst of an ambitious £7 million program to restore, refurbish, and improve the museum.

The above print shows the three buildings Sir John Soane built at #s 12, 13, and 14 Lincoln’s Inn  Fields.  The Museum,formerly in 12 and 13, purchased #14 and is consolidating offices, enhancing exhibition space and the library and returning the living quarters and teaching rooms to their appearance when Sir John died in 1837. All this is being accomplished while keeping the museum open to the public.  As he decreed in his will, it is free  — although please consider a contribution to help ensure its future.

Sir John Soane by Sir Thomas Lawrence
Soane (1753-1837) was a distinguished architect and teacher.  Among his many buildings were splendid country houses,  remodeling of the Bank of England which sadly has been almost obliterated by subsequent alterations, the Dulwich Picture gallery (click here), and Soane’s country home Pitshanger Manor in Ealing (click here). The latter two institutions are easily accessible from Central London, being now in what we would call suburbs.  Add in one or both on your next  jaunt to London.

We’ve written about them before (click here), and Guest Blogger Jo Manning detailed renovations plans for Pitshanger here.

Just a  sample of the objects Soane used to instruct his students
Soane’s bust by Sir Francis Chantry in center
But to return to the late summer of 2014, Kristine, Vicky and Marilyn were pleased to poke around among the rooms, some containing scaffolding,and to trot up and down the various back stairs needed while the “front” was being fixed up.  From the catacombs to the attics, Sir John filled his abode with instructional materials, aside from a few rooms in which his family lived and entertained.
#13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Sir John Soane’s Drawing Room
We were there to visit — or re-visit — the house as well as experience the small exhibition mounted in 2014 to show a bit of what happened in both Great Britain and France when Napoleon was first expelled and peace established. It is hard of course, to ignore the hindsight we all have, knowing how short that peace lasted, and what the ultimate outcome was by late June of 1815.

Temple of Concord, 1814, St. James’s Park
We wrote about this exhibition before we left for London (click here) and we were not the slightest disappointed at what we saw there.
The Catalogue of the Exhibition is available on the website, along with may other wonderful books and objects in the Gift Shop


  1. And while Kristine, Vicky and Marilyn were touring John Soane's museum, I was in Richmond visiting the offices of Mills and Boon, being given glasses of Prosecco in honor of my visit and being taken out to lunch by my editors.

    Afterward I had a little time to kill so I went to the British Museum and poked around George III's library.

    When I went to Soane's Museum on an earlier England trip, I couldn't help feeling Sir John was a bit of a hoarder. He seemed to have kept every scrap of ancient stone sculpture that he ever came across.

  2. You're right, Diane. If I had to define my personal décor style, cluttered Victorian wouldn't be far off the mark but even I felt claustrophobic at Soane's house! You could barely move for fear of knocking some 9th century chachka over. Oy! The fact that renovations were ongoing and scaffolding was rising through the center of the house didn't help, either. The Peace Breaks Out exhibition was fab, as was the giftshop!

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