Guided Walks In Dickens' London
Your guided walks in Dickens' London continue through the old streets that he knew and wrote about continues with a visit to the fascinating Sir John Soane Museum.
Head towards the gates of Lincoln’s Inn, passing the magnificent gardens to your right about which Miss Flite in ‘Bleak House’ observes:- “I call it my garden. It is quite a bower in the summer time”
The curious little building of red brick and stone that gives the appearance of being a mini fortress is in fact the gardeners shed and is known in the inn as ‘the head gardeners castle.
Exit through the gates of Lincoln’s Inn via the barrier ahead of you. The soaring redbrick gothic structure to the right of the barrier is Lincoln’s Inn New Hall, built in 1843.
Turn left into Lincoln’s Inn Fields Keep ahead, which has the distinction of being London’s largest Square. It was here in Barnaby Rudge that the Gordon Rioters gathered. Proceed counter clockwise around the square turning left, and with the square to your left proceed along its northern fringe until you arrive on the right at:-
The Sir John Soane Museum. Number 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Sir John Soane (1753-1837), architect of the Bank of England and 10 Downing Street, reconstructed this house in 1792, and furnished it with a veritable treasure trove of all things beautiful, instructive and curious. Before he died, he succeeded in obtaining an Act of Parliament, which ensured that the houses - he expanded next door when his collection outgrew the original premises! - and their contents would be preserved as a public museum. Of particular interest from a Dickensian point of view are the original paintings of William Hogarth (1697-1764) The Rakes Progress and The Election Campaign. Hogarth was an astute observer and commentator on the social scene of 18th-century London. He was a favourite artist of the young Dickens whose style was greatly influenced by the narrative manner of Hogarth’s works. Later, Dickens commented on Hogarth’s compassion and praised him for his awareness of ‘the causes of drunkenness among the poor.’