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Sir John Soane Museum and Attached Railings

A Grade I Listed Building in Holborn and Covent Garden, London

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Latitude: 51.5171 / 51°31'1"N

Longitude: -0.1174 / 0°7'2"W

OS Eastings: 530720

OS Northings: 181472

OS Grid: TQ307814

Mapcode National: GBR KB.SB

Mapcode Global: VHGQZ.X48C

Entry Name: Sir John Soane Museum and Attached Railings

Listing Date: 24 October 1951

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1379327

English Heritage Legacy ID: 478706

Location: Camden, London, WC2A

County: London

District: Camden

Electoral Ward/Division: Holborn and Covent Garden

Built-Up Area: Camden

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Paul Covent Garden

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


Nos.12, 13 AND 14
Sir John Soane Museum and attached railings


Three terraced houses, formerly the home, studio and private museum of Sir John Soane, now a museum. Progressively rebuilt by Soane to form a symmetrical facade.
No.12 built c1792-94 for himself; No.13, c1812-13; No.14, c1824 was built and sold off by Soane but the back half was retained and incorporated into the principal residence at No.13. Soane also built a museum, connected to No.13, on the site of the stables at the rear of the houses. Grey brick, No.13 with stone facing. Nos 12 and 14 with slated mansard roofs and dormers.

EXTERIOR: four storeys and basements (No.12 & 14 with attics). Three windows each. Nos 12 and 14: arched ground floor openings. Doorways with patterned radial fanlights and panelled doors. Wrought-iron balconies at first floor level. Gauged brick flat arches to recessed windows with original glazing bars (No.14 with C19 blind boxes to second floor). Stone second floor sill strings. Brick modillion and stone cornices at third floor level. Stone cornices and blocking course above third floor. No.13: projecting stone front of three bays with the middle bay continuing the projection on the second floor. Round arched entrance, ground and first floor windows. Gothic brackets between windows of ground and first floor. First floor with blind balustrade below windows and enriched panels above, surmounted by Classical Coade stone figures on the outer bays. First floor was formerly an open loggia, glazed in 1834. Second floor with outer bays recessed and articulated with pilaster strips and friezes. Projecting middle bay with acroteria. Recessed third floor with stone pilasters carrying a stone balustrade with acroteria finials.

INTERIORS: intricate sequences of rooms. Ground floor rooms of complex spatial relationships. Dining room with shallow gilt saucer dome and convex mirrors; ceiling paintings by Henry Howard. Library with flat ceiling and pendants and mirror walls above the bookcases with hanging arches placed in front of the mirrors. First floor drawing rooms simpler; ceilings have two versions of Soane's shallow vaulting motifs. The dining room and one drawing room over a narrow courtyard rising from basement level. Breakfast room with a shallow gilt saucer dome on the centre of which rises a small lantern. The dome is supported at the corners only; the tympana let daylight in but the spandrels have convex mirrors giving a reduced perspective of the room. Other rooms of interest include the Dome, the Colonnade, the Picture Gallery, the Monk's Parlour.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached cast-iron railings to areas.

HISTORICAL NOTE: No.12 was, from 1812, the residence of Sir John Soane who then lived in No.13 until his death in 1837. The principal rooms of the houses and museum are of great interest, having been designed to exhibit his art collection which now forms the Sir John Soane Museum.

(Survey of London: Vol. III, St Giles-in-the-Fields, part I: Lincoln's Inn Fields: London: 1912: 108-109).

Listing NGR: TQ3072081472

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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