John Soane Museum

13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
Holborn, London
WC2A 3BP
Tel: 020 7405 2107 Holborn 0.1 miles


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John Soane Museum reviews



The John Soane Museum is not for everyone. I would only suggest visiting this place if you are interested in architecture and fond of Egyptian, Greek and other ancient civilizations. The museum is too packed with different things and the worst thing is the lack of information about many of its exhibits. It seems that Sir John Soane was an inspired, but slightly weird collector, who aspired to gather as many artefacts as possible.
Still want to go there? Then good luck!

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 by Alex2010, 19 Jul 2010
It was really a quirky and eccentric place. I went to this museum after conducting some research with my classmates and teacher from IH London last Friday. John Soane built it as his house and left it to the public. It is completely obscure and definitely a part of hidden London, which is why it is so attractive. Also, the artefacts are highly acclaimed and they have inspired me to collect my own things. The most fascinating artefacts in his collection were the pictures, which were drawn by John Soane himself. Of these, there were also his drafts which concerned important buildings, such as Westminster. In addition, the room that contains the pictures opens out to reveal many more pictures inside. This structure is unparalleled, so I was excited when the manager opened the packed doors to show other works of art. I would definitely recommend it to my friends who are interested in architecture.

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 by nanazze, 19 Jul 2010
Last Friday, I went to John Soane Museum with my teacher and classmates. It was impressive and eccentric. There were lots of artifacts and paintings. Also, some paintings that he drew himself were there. The most interesting thing was the painting room. A bell to announce the opening of the exhibition rang at 11.00am and, when I entered, I could see fascinating pictures hidden inside. It was like his secret room. However, apart from that, I didn't think it was really astonishing because the display in this museum wasn't very good. There were too many things and it was extremely packed. So, it didn't feel as if it was organised. Nevertheless, I would recommend it if you are interested in architecture. By the way, it’s free!

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 by ji, 19 Jul 2010
It was absolutely amazing. I went there last Friday and I think the place is breathtaking. I was surprised that entrance is free. The people were very nice, educated and helpful. I liked the idea that John Soane bequeathed his own house, with all these ornaments, to the public. What I didn't like was when I saw the stolen Egyptian sarcophagus; to be honest, I feel that it is unfair to keep pieces from another civilisation - I think they should be returned. In general though, I loved it as it was crammed full of paintings.

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 by toty1983, 24 May 2010
Honestly, I didn't think it would be my cup of tea, really. Moreover, I had't heard about him and his life before. However, I believe his architecture and passion for collecting artefacts was brilliant. There needs to be a leaflet which explains the museum to foreigners though. In short, it is worth visiting.

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 by pleur83, 24 May 2010
I really liked this place. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes architecture. The museum is John Soane's house with lots of his remarkable collections and the house itself is really unique and and fascinating. Worth visiting.

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 by yas, 24 May 2010
It's such a nice museum but I think it is packed with a lot of ornaments, which makes it difficult to appreciate them.

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 by aasersal, 24 May 2010
An absolutely wonderful place, a cultural gem. I was blown away by the sarcophagus and the huge collection of historic objects. Is actually quite a humbling place. Everyone must go.

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 by no1redz (5 reviews), 01 Jun 2009
Small intimate space with big impact. Designed by John Soane himself, the building is just as impressive as his carefully arranged collections. I particularly enjoyed the arrival where one has to ring the doorbell to enter the house. It's a truly inspiring and personal experience that most museums would not be able to offer.

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 by LONDONBOI (3 reviews), 15 May 2008
This is London's best-kept secret. An amazing experience and, for architectural students, Soane's use of refracted light is 'illuminating' (dreadful pun, but...). Do yourself a favour and visit.

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 by Ian Gooner, 02 May 2008
I love this little museum. I have been here several times and have always made new discoveries because there are so many areas to explore. It can be a bit overwhelming on your first visit, as things are not really organised. But that's what makes it special, as you can wander through it and explore like you would in an antique shop. There's also an amazing Egyptian sarcophagus in the basement. It's free (although you can leave a donation if you wish) and it's never busy either, which makes it special. I think they're also open late one night a week.

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 by bobbypants (52 reviews), 17 Jun 2007
Bizarre, entertaining and educational. It's free to enter (but make a donation) and definitely worth a trip. Soane collected a remarkable range of art and archaeological artifacts from Europe, Egypt and beyond and left them all for us to marvel at.

Its relative obscurity makes it all the more special and most people I know who've visited encourage others to check it out - a great example of "hidden London".

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 by S.G. (16 reviews), 22 Aug 2005
A little known gem.

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 by Lucy P (5 reviews), 12 Jul 2005
What an amazing place! If you live in London and have any interest in architecture, culture or interior quirkiness you need to visit the Soane museum.

John Soane apparently bequeathed his house to future generations and we owe it to him to explore this magical space. It's more intimate, unusual and thought-provoking than any museum I've visited.

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 by mopsy (18 reviews), 04 May 2005
This is my favourite museum in London. John Saune was a great architect, responsible for many of London's most magnificent public buildings. He collected/pillaged wonderful statues and sculptures from all over the world, particularly Egypt, and brought them back to London.

What's most impressive is the way he has displayed them - the house is a bizarre labyrinth of fabulous objets in interconnected and beautifully decorated rooms. I've really never seen anything like this anywhere else and I'd especially recommend it to anybody with a background or interest in interior design, archaeology or architecture.

During my most recent (3rd) visit I realised I had never actually been in one particularly strange room but had only seen it from above. It took me a few minutes to work out where it could possibly be and how to access it. If you visit, hang around for the opening of the "Wake's Progress" cartoon-style paintings - layer on layer of hinged walls that peel back to reveal the story, and finally, the room below that I discovered to my delight.

An astonishing museum that surprisingly few people know of, so impress your friends and take them there soon. It's free too.

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 by Mark Cowan (13 reviews), 15 Mar 2004
An eccentric and very lovely museum, which makes you feel like you're stepping into another world. The location itself is worth admiring - Lincoln's Inn Fields is a grand and quintessentially 'old London' square.

This is a perfect place to go on a grey 'what shall we do' type of day.

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 by ac (37 reviews), 08 Mar 2004


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