Sir John Soane was an 18th-century architect. He was also an undiagnosed hoarder. The man's townhouse, which is freely open to the public, is an extraordinary jumble of his collection of antiquities—he had to modify the building in order to cram them all in. There's even a genuine Egpytian sarcophagus in his basement (which originally housed a Pharaoh). It's impossible to describe how completely bonkers his house is, and you're not allowed to take pictures inside, so I'd urge you to go visit. It's free, and it's on a beautiful square in central London, so it makes a nice off-the-beaten-track stop. Once a month on a Tuesday evening you can take a candlelit tour, though these are highly popular so you need to make sure you're there early enough to nab a ticket.
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Exploring the Home of a Genius Eccentric
Born in 1753, the son of a bricklayer, Soane died in 1837 after a long and distinguished career. He designed 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields as his home and as a setting for his antiquities and works of art. After his wife's death he lived here alone, constantly adding to and rearranging his collections.
He established the house as a museum by Act of Parliament (1833) requiring that his romantic and poetic interiors be kept as they were at the time of his death.
Tour by candlelight is available to the first 200 people the first Tuesday of every month.
London trip report: http://bit.ly/1gZcVuX