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Sir John Soane’s Museum

Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 09:30

Death and Memory: Soane and the Architecture of Legacy Exhibition

Duration: 23rd October 2015 – 26th March 2016

Private tours for up to 20 people available Tuesday-Saturday


Death and Memory: Soane and the Architecture of Legacy at Sir John Soane’s Museum explores Soane’s fascination with memorialisation, and commemorates the 200th anniversary of the death of his beloved wife Eliza.  Learn more about the exhibition in an intimate and exclusive setting by booking a private tour.

Eliza Soane – Sir John Soane’s beloved wife – died on 22 November 1815. Her heartbroken husband never recovered. Death and Memory: Soane and the Architecture of Legacy will commemorate 200 years since Eliza’s death, highlighting the effect of her death on both Soane and their children. It will examine key areas, such as the relationship between Soane and his family – how Soane blamed his son after his wife’s death and how he kept Eliza’s bedroom intact for nineteen years after her death. The exhibition will explore how the Museum itself was used by Soane as a means for exploring death and memory, and will provide a fascinating insight into a man preoccupied with death, memory and legacy in a way no other British architect has been.

Learn more about the Death and Memory exhibition and have the Museum all to yourself by booking a private tour with one of the Soane’s expert curators. Day time tours can be booked for before or after the Museum is open to the public – with options including a Breakfast Tour, where you can finish with breakfast at the Museum’s partner café Fields Bar and Kitchen, or enjoy a glass of prosecco during an atmospheric candlelit evening tour after 6pm. The Soane’s intimate and exclusive curator-led tours are the perfect way to learn more about the Museum and the exhibition, from the people that know them best.

Soane was fascinated with memorialisation, and was strongly concerned with creating a legacy and shaping memory through architecture. These ideas are seen throughout his career but Eliza’s death blurred the lines between the personal and the professional. Death and Memory looks at elements of Soane’s life – from his family and his home, to his collecting and architectural work – and will also explore Soane’s deep and long-held fascination with mortality.  

Tours last one hour and are for up to 20 guests. Please email us at or call 020 7440 4279 to book or find out more.