Friday, May 25, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP, DAY 2, PART 2: John Soane architect house/museum

John Soane's Museum/House
On the second day of our U.K. vacation we visited the John Soane architect house/museum (because Tom is an architect). Of course, it's an old house, and yes, Rob sensed a ghost - it wasn't human, though...
  According to the Museum website, www.soane.org:
"John Soane was born in 1753, the son of a bricklayer, and died after a long and distinguished career, in 1837. 
Soane designed this house to live in, but also as a setting for his antiquities and his works of art. After the death of his wife (1815), he lived here alone, constantly adding to and rearranging his collections."
 What's in the House/Museum?  The website says:
"Sir John Soane’s Museum comprises his collections and personal effects, acquired between the 1780s and his death in 1837.  The Museum’s collections contain many important works of art and antiquities, including Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress and An Election, Canaletto’s Riva degli Schiavoni looking West, the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I, 30,000 architectural drawings, 6,857 historical volumes, 252 historical architectural models as well as important examples of furniture and decorative arts."
    I found it to be a very quirky 4 level townhome. It's an AMAZING collection of architectural pieces, fragments, statues, paintings and more. The basement is literally a MAZE of things!  In the basement was a little unnerving because of the Egyptian sarcophagus. One of the weird things in the basement were iron chains and manacles from a prison. I sensed that they were associated with people in pain, so I scurried by them quickly. 
  I did notice that John Soane put a lot of skylights in the house to filter light down into the lower levels. It was quite ingenious.

THERE'S A GHOST DOG HERE! - (WATCH THE VIDEO REVIEW BELOW) While walking through the first floor of the house/museum, I sensed a ghost.  I looked out a window on the first floor and there was a monument with the words "Alas, poor Fanny." I told Tom that's where a dog is buried, and I sensed it was a the ghost of dog named "Fanny" that is walking around in the house!
  When we got into the portrait gallery part of the house, that's when we confirmed
the dog was named Fanny and it was a terrier.
Fanny turned out to be Mrs. Sloane's dog- a terrier. There was a painting of Fanny with Mrs. Sloane (see below).
 - Later in the gift shop I saw a book about "Fanny" - mostly written for kids but also for adults. I asked the clerk if she ever sensed a dog in the house. She looked at me wide-eyed and said "yes." She said that several people that lived in the house after the Sloane family had reported seeing a ghost dog in the house.

   In fact, the owner after the Sloanes had a dog whom the clerk said "was always anxious and could never settle down."  The next owner had two Dachshunds that were also quite nervous in the house and had to go live somewhere else. The clerk said that "Fanny" has been seen a number of times running around in the basement!!
 - The clerk asked if I could sense a person there, and I told her there was no person haunting the home, just the dog.  She confirmed that's what all the other employees and former owners thought. There were never experiences with a human ghost. SO, although I didn't expect a dog to come to me in an historic home/mansion, I got one - and a definite couple of  confirmations!!
Mrs. Soane and Fanny Credit: London Dog Forum UK
BOOK: Mrs. Soane's Dog Fanny

Here's the book I was driven to buy: The Journal of Mrs Soane's Dog, Fanny, by Herself
This great book chronicles the adventures of Mrs Soane’s beloved dog, Fanny, and her friend Mew (the next-door cat) in the Museum. It is written by Mirabel Cecil, and illustrated by Francesca Martin using original 19th century drawings and paintings of the interiors. Fanny’s elaborate grave in the Monk’s Yard is a well-known feature at the Museum and much admired by visitors. We hope that this book will convey some of the magic of the Museum and help inspire a new generation of Soane enthusiasts.

Here's ROB'S VIDEO REPORT after exiting the Museum!  



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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next