Sir John Soane's Museum

Sir John Soane's Museum
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London
Greater London
WC2A 3BP
England

Website

www.soane.org

E-mail

Head of Visitor Services

pwaite@soane.org.uk

Group Bookings

cjlucky@soane.org.uk

Room Hire

jbrock@soane.org.uk

Library Bookings

library@soane.org.uk

Telephone

020 7405 2107

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
A photo of a red-walled sitting room with a decorated ceiling
Shop icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The architect Sir John Soane's house, museum and library at No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields has been a public museum since the early 19th century.

Soane designed this house to live in, but also as a setting for his antiquities and his works of art. On his appointment as Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in 1806, Soane began to arrange his books, casts and models in order that the students might have the benefit of easy access to them and proposed opening his house for the use of the Royal Academy students the day before and the day after each of his lectures.

After the death of his wife (1815), he lived here alone, constantly adding to and rearranging his collections. Having been deeply disappointed by the conduct of his two sons, one of whom survived him, he determined to establish the house as a museum to which 'amateurs and students' should have access. By 1827, when John Britton published the first description of the Museum, Soane's collection was being referred to as an 'Academy of Architecture'.

In 1833 Soane negotiated an Act of Parliament to settle and preserve the house and collection for the benefit of 'amateurs and students' in architecture, painting and sculpture. On his death in 1837 the Act came into force, vesting the Museum in a board of Trustees who were to continue to uphold Soane's own aims and objectives. A crucial part of their brief was to maintain the fabric of the Museum, keeping it 'as nearly as circumstances will admit in the state' in which it was left at the time of Soane's death in 1837 and to allow free access for students and the public to 'consult, inspect and benefit' from the collections. Since 1837, each successive Curator (since 2005 'Director') has sought to preserve and maintain Soane's arrangements.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Museum, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm. Last entry 4:30pm.
Closed on Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays.

Admission charges

Admission free.

Additional info

Groups of 6 or more people must book in advance due to limited space. To book go to www.soane.org, click 'your visit', then click 'groups'.

Our library is open by appointment. Contact +44 (0)20 7440 4251 library@soane.org.uk.

The Museum has limited disabled access. Wheelchair users should telephone in advance for advice and will need to manage 6 steps up into the Museum and transfer to our own narrow skychairs. Please contact Visitor Services on +44 (0)20 7440 4274 visitorservices@soane.org.uk.

The entire collection of Sir John Soane's is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The house, museum and library of the celebrated architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837) at No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields in London has been a public museum since the early 19th century. Soane acquired, demolished and rebuilt three houses in Lincoln's Inn Fields between 1792 and 1837 to house his extensive collections.

These include antiquities, paintings (by Canaletto, Hogarth, Turner and many early 19th century artists), furniture, architectural fragments, casts, architectural drawings, models and much else, arranged in an 'inspirational' way in Soane's picturesque and 'poetic' interiors. All the collections of the Museum are designated as, together with the house itself, they constitute a unique surviving example of an early private house museum.

Collection details

Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Building a Dialogue: The Architect and the Client

  • 17 February — 9 May 2015 *on now

Discover the role of the client in the intrinsic dynamics of architectural commissions in Building a Dialogue: The Architect and the Client.

Exploring the delicate, complex and sometimes difficult relationship between clients and architects, the exhibition charts the development of the architectural profession from Elizabethan to Victorian times. With case studies including Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery and Holy Trinity Church and Wren’s Royal Naval College, see rare pieces from the Museum’s collection including never before seen drawings, private and public documents, letters, correspondence, and models.

Analysing projects by Sir John Soane, as well as the work and influence of other illustrious British architects Sir Christopher Wren, William Chambers, Robert Adam and his brother James Adam, it is one of the most comprehensive surveys of the architecture profession ever displayed at Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Suitable for

Website

http://www.soane.org/exhibitions

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

The Bank of England in Perspective

  • 6 March 2015 10am-4pm

A drawing day at the Bank of England.

Our adult art workshop programme continue to offer a variety of inspiring and creative courses, including lino cutting, topographical drawing and charcoal. The workshops have become known for their excellent teaching and small class sizes, allowing for more focused instruction.

Come and enjoy this unique museum and collection with the eyes of an artist!

Suitable for

Where

The Bank of England

Admission

£55

Website

http://www.soane.org/education/adults/adultartworkshops/

Sketchbook Day at Dulwich Picture Gallery

  • 12 March 2015 10am-4pm

Fill a sketchbook at Britain’s first public picture gallery. Described as the most beautiful picture gallery in the world, we will make drawing studies of Soane’s unique and extraordinary response to this very unusual architectural commission, a theme specific to the current exhibition at the Soane Museum.

Suitable for

Where

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Admission

£55

Website

http://www.soane.org/education/adults/adultartworkshops/

Drawing a Dialogue

  • 13 March 2015 10am-4pm

Suitable for anyone who wishes to engage closely with architecture through drawing, this experimental workshop will consider how architectural ideas may be developed and communicated through drawing.

Experimenting with different drawing techniques and media we will explore drawing both as a visual language and as a tool for looking, recording and exchanging ideas.

Suitable for

Admission

£55

Website

http://www.soane.org/education/adults/adultartworkshops/

Imagined Spaces: Inspired by Gandy

  • 19 March 2015 10am-4pm

Using watercolours, ink and dry drawing materials, and inspired by the work of Gandy, you will create interior images of imagined and existing buildings.

Suitable for

Admission

£55

Website

http://www.soane.org/education/adults/adultartworkshops/

Speed Drawing in the Museum

  • 26 March 2015 10am-4pm

This workshop will employ timed drawing exercises to improve your on-site recording skills using the Museum’s interior, exterior and the studio to build mark-making and recording techniques.

Suitable for

Admission

£55

Website

http://www.soane.org/education/adults/adultartworkshops/

Architectural Paper Cutting

  • 30 April 2015 10am-4pm

This day-long study of architectural features and processes will begin the day with the Curator of Drawings, learning about how Soane worked, trained his apprentices and displayed his ideas. We will then build a series of 3-dimensional architecturally-inspired objects to represent aspects of buildings.

Suitable for

Admission

£55

Website

http://www.soane.org/education/adults/adultartworkshops/

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