A day in London….

A day in London….

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.


Today I want to take you to London,
to discover a precious jewel hidden in the heart of London.
Sir John Soane’s Museum is located at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
It’s just round the corner from Holborn Undergound.
Our Jim at work recommended we visit it when next in the city.
So on Wednesday, after our business meeting, we hopped on the tube at Marylebone, and were there in no time. 
The London Underground really is something monumental too, isn’t it? I do love a bit of trivia…
Did you know that there are a staggering 270 stations on the London Underground?

During the 3-hour morning peak, the busiest tube is Waterloo, 
with around 57,000 people entering.

Every week, Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going round the world twice. 
Mind you, you do meet some strange people, don’t you…

There was an American geezer sitting opposite us on Wednesday, 
who was definitely strung out on something stronger than 
coffee! He was so impatient!
Kept complaining loudly about the train being still as slow as back 
in the Victorian age, (like he would know – punk)
about how Japanese trains were like bullets, (whatever).
Every station we pulled into, he would groan,
5 more stops, 4 more stops, 3 more stops.
When we stood up to get off, I smiled at him,
“2 more stops”.
He wasn’t amused. 

But I digress.
Sir John Soane’s Museum.
When you stand outside, you see a building like many others in that row.
Image result for sir john soane museum

But when you step inside, it’s like passing through a stargate, like being transported into another world.

Image result for sir john soane museum

one treasure chest after another,
packed with artefacts, books, statues, art.

Image result for sir john soane museum

Quite astounding.

Sir John was an architect, and a very great one by all accounts.
His father was a bricklayer, would you believe?
If you are interested, here’s a link to his life. Fascinating.
His Life
(1753 – 1837)

Thomas Lawrence John Soane.JPG

Soane’s greatest work was The Bank of England,
but the house at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (which is/was actually 2/3 houses) is now a national centre for the study of architecture.

The number of art works and architectural artefacts in this little museum will blow your mind. And when you consider that he collected it ALL during his lifetime, THAT is crazy. 
Especially since he was a very prolific architect too!
But what’s more, he had a law passed which stipulated that his home would become a museum of the State, provided it stayed EXACTLY as he left it at the time of his death in 1837

There is a particularly special room: the Picture Room.

Small room.
But on closer inspection, 
you notice brackets and hinges on the wall…

Then you realise that there are layers of walls, which fold open to reveal yet more beautiful original artwork.

There was one series of paintings by William Hogarth, which depicted A Rake’s Progress.

Quite the Morality Tale I’d say.

8 paintings.

1: The Heir
2: The Levée
3. The Orgy
4. The Arrest
5. The Marriage
6. The Gaming House
7. The Prison
8: The Madhouse

In a nutshell: Had it all. Lost it all.

Anyway, I just wanted to open the front door for you, 
just as Jim did for us,
and point you in the direction of the museum, 
should you ever be in London.

Love & Hugs,

47 thoughts on “A day in London….

  1. WOW this looks amazing and will definitely pay it a visit when we are next in London. Thank you for sharing some of these masterpieces with us. Have a great weekend.
    Linda xxx

  2. That museum is a true hidden gem and thank you for sharing it with us. A wee bit of culture does the soul good. I love wandering around museums like this particularly when away from home as it gives a feeling of calm and I have passed this onto the kids, whom we had to wait upon when we visited museums in Malmo a couple of years ago as they didn't want to miss anything. They were the same at the Carlsberg experience and absorbed a huge amount of info on everything so if there is ever a pointless round on the history of Danish beer I think they would win.
    You have now put me in the mood to go to the Kelvigrove art galleries in Glasgow this weekend.

  3. Looks like you had an amazing trip. Not in London very often but will keep it in mind. We spend ages when visiting stately homes checking out all the artwork. Made me smile that you had to comment to the chap as you left the train, I can't resist doing the same when I encounter people like that. Still it takes all sorts I suppose in this strange old world we live in. Enjoy your weekend. X x

  4. Really it is an amazing place isn't it? I used to live on the opposite side of the square years ago, when my dad was head porter at the Royal College of Surgeons. They have some phenomenal museums and paintings in there too, but I'm not sure they are open to the public. The Wallace Collection in Marylebone is also worth a visit next time you have a spare afternoon – another hidden gem! x

  5. Hello Barb,
    Glad you had a good time in London. I remember watching a programme quite a few years ago about that house and it was incredible. If I'm ever in London again I must go to see it for real. Thanks for that.
    Wonder if the chap on the train has calmed down yet – Peace Man! ha ha.
    Maureen xx

  6. I'll have to visit here when I'm next in London, such a fascinating hidden gem…thanks to you and Jim for the tip-off. A special treat after your business meeting. Love and hugs xxx Jeanette xx

  7. I'll have to visit here when I'm next in London, such a fascinating hidden gem…thanks to you and Jim for the tip-off. A special treat after your business meeting. Love and hugs xxx Jeanette xx

  8. Wow! back in the 1980s, I worked at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund which is on the South side of Lincolns Inn Fields and I didn't know this fascinating museum existed just over the other side – just think, I could have spent lunchtimes in there soaking up some of that history and art!!! Another museum I wanted to visit was The British Museum where the Queen goes with just her Lady in Waiting to research information before one of her foreign visits. So, an opportunity came up foe me to have an afternoon leave so off I went only to find on arrival that the Museum was closed for refurbishment ☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️ Two excuses for a visit to London I think – thanks Barb for sharing xx

    1. Hi Beryl! I worked at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund labs just like you did, but from 1972-77! It was my first job at 16 yrs of age, and I loved being in Lincolns Inn. Suddenly I was a grown-up! I loved sitting in the square at lunchtime with a hot sausage sandwich from the little hut, and watching the netball games that went on every day. I learned about the John Soanes museum much later though, it was featured on an episode of Bargain Hunt. Walking through to the Law Courts was fascinating too. Alas no more, now that I am retired and unable to walk any distance. Great memories though, and no-one can take those away can they? Have a great weekend fellow ICRF worker xx

  9. I used to work around the corner and had no idea this was there. Such a shame. It's now on my list of places to visit. Thank you for sharing this gem

  10. Will have to look this up looks amazing …
    Does anyone know if I can use all my vouchers from the catalogues at once ? Tried to enter them on the website but can only get one to go through at a time …Any info gratefully received

  11. Fascinating place, just followed the link thank you.
    By the way I would have said 0 stops as I got off to the annoying commuter lol, I also know a few Japanese words so would have thrown those in as I passed him ;-D x

  12. Looks amazing – I had no idea it was there. We visit London regularly to see our daughter and like to visit new places each time …. this will definitely be on the list. Thanks Barb – love your blog for all the interesting and informative 'goodies' you come up with… love the 'trivia'! Sounds like you had an interesting time on that underground journey – think that guy needs some mindfulness training 🙂 x

  13. Hi Barbara, what you said to the man, so funny, really made me laugh. I could connect with it too. An Asperger thing I have, in certain situations we feel compelled to say something like you did, or to copy, repeat what is being said. We get told, don't do it, hold it in, not normal. And that it could get us into big trouble because it would be seen as something bad, instead of us helping us in our head, or trying to be funny. So I thank you for doing it for me too!!! I think I would have also been telling him to immigrate to Japan then.

    Thank you for the wee museum tour. I used to frequent museums, especially ones that showed you how people lived in the past, normal people, not the toffs. I was fascinated by that, but often ended up sad and sorry for the poor souls and the hard, horrible lives they had to endure. And marvel at the way they fought on, and made the most of life. I tried to find the history of my cottage online, and the village, but didn't come up with much. This being a mining village for over 100 years, it must have been a very sad and hard place to live. My cottage is a bit newer, 1930s, but I often wonder if the occupiers had a hard sad life, or if they managed to find happiness. Maybe one day I'll get to go to the museum that's just along the road.

    Old paintings are mostly not my thing, which makes no sense being a crafter, and having my eye for detail. Monet is an exception, I would like to see his works in real life. It's hard to imagine the guy actually lived there, that he had his house like that, with all that stuff in it. Not much of a home for him, but leaves a very important legacy for all to see and understand. Imagine being his housekeeper and having to dust all that! And the fear of knocking something over or dropping it, and it breaking. I think I'd have been in the jail on day one!!! I didn't know some people could live as old as that in those days, he must have been really lucky healthwise eh.

    What, is no one going to mention the rugby tomorrow? All faerdies that we'll beat you eh!!!!😉

    Hope you have a good weekend Barbara and Dave
    Love Brenda xx

    1. Hello Brenda I thought you would be mentioning the rugby. Emma won tickets so she's flying down tomorrow morning and meeting dad in London. She's got a dilemma, which team should she support with her roots in both Scotland and England! The atmosphere will be so good that it won't matter who you support and the best team will win ( haha that's all I'm saying!!). Sending hugs to you and Daisy xxx

    2. It's no us Scots who are the faerdies Dot!!!!
      Iron Bru on my banned list sadly. I'm banned from caffeine, I'm bad enough without it, with it scrape me off the ceiling!!!!
      Oh flower o Scotland, when will we see yer like again, that fought and died fir, yer wee bit hill and glen, and stood against him, proud Edward's army, and sent him homewards tae think again….
      Just practising… Would you like the second verse too?!!

    3. Oh, go on then, since you asked nicely!!!!
      Those days are passed now, and in the past they must remain, for we can still rise now, and be the nation again, that stood against him, proud Edward's army, and sent him homewards tae think again
      I expect you all to be singing along tomorrow now, I'll be listening!!!!
      (Sorry for being naughty Barbara. Little me, here all on my own, no one to share with 😇😇😇😇😇)

  14. Hi Barbara
    What an interesting museum with wonderful rooms to explore. It's not one I've been to so I will add it to our list of places to visit. My dad was an architect and he worked in London so would take himself off to various museums and art galleriies at lunchtimes. We used to head up to London in school holidays to visit them too which may have been lost on teenagers. Wish he was still around to ask him if he visited this one, I'm sure he did as he liked to do a lot of research before he designed buildings. Thank you god sharing your trip with us. Now as for the petulant man, you should have produced one of your colouring postcards for him to help him relax! Hope you are enjoying the rugby tonight.
    Love Diane xxx

    1. Hello lovely blog friends, after the glorious sunshine yesterday, thick fog today! Spent the morning looking for my Easter stamps and ended up having a clear up and tidy, the things I've found! There's one or two Clarity stamps that need to get inky so it's a play day tomorrow. Sending hugs xxx

  15. What a fascinating place to visit Barbara packed full of beautiful things. I have heard of him but didn't know about this museum. Certainly worth a visit if I get the chance to do so. x

  16. Thanks Barb, will definitely pay a visit to that little gem! I love finding little unknown places, often the best things are right on our doorstep and it's just great to seek them out. Thanks again for sharing xxx have a super weekend.

  17. I remember seeing that Painting Room being shown by someone on tv, but it would be fascinating to see it in real life. It probably will not happen though, as I tend to avoid cities these days. My choices are the ever changing paintings created by Mother Nature. I would love to be able to capture those in my own paintings. More practice required but fun to try. Glad you had a good day up in the Big Smoke. xxx Maggie

  18. Morning Barb,
    Well this will certainly be on my to visit list when we go to London again. We always stay in Russell Square so not far to Lincolns Inn Fields. In fact we went there last year and never even noticed this museum! The only reason we went was because I had read about Lincolns Inn in the Shardlake books! Thank you for sharing this with us. Love and hugs Alison xx

    1. Morning bloggy friends,
      Hope you are all ok. Spent the day in bed yesterday with migraine so feeling very washed out this morning. Will catch up with you all later on, love and hugs Alison xxx

    2. Hi Alison, sorry to hear you have not been to good.
      Take it easy today and hopefully you will be on the mend later.
      They do make you feel not so good.
      Thinking of you.
      Hugs Lynn xx

  19. Stunning, isn't it? Quite a few years back I worked in Lincolns Inn Fields when the company I worked for had offices there for the board of directors, while waiting for their new HQ to be completed in Basingstoke. It's a lovely area. But that museum is amazing. It was a twice a week lunch time visit for me, just absorbing beautiful things I would never get the opportunity to see again once the offices moved out.

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