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Working Model Steam Engine Soho House Museum from Steam Replicas

 
 

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Soho House - Where Great Minds Met

Open April to October, Tuesday to Sunday 11.30am - 4.00pm (closed Mondays except Bank Holidays)
Admission - FREE

The elegant home of industrial pioneer Matthew Boulton, who lived at Soho House from 1766 to 1809. Here, he met with some of the most important scientists, engineers and thinkers of his time - the Lunar Society. Possibly the first centrally heated English house since Roman times, Soho House has been carefully restored to its 18th century appearance and contains some of Boulton's own furniture.

Displays tell the story of this fascinating man and the interests he shared with his famous visitors, including members of the Lunar Society.
 


Soho House - Where Great Minds Met about steam engines
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There's also the chance to see some of the products of Boulton's nearby factory - where buttons and buckles, clocks and vases, and silver and Sheffield plate tableware were made - and where he developed the steam engine in partnership with James Watt.


Local People, Local History

In the visitor centre next to Soho House is a community history gallery with a changing programme of exhibitions and activities.

Facilities

  • Historic house & exhibitions

  • Shop

  • Tea Room

  • Meeting room for schools and community groups

  • Wheelchair access and WC (phone for information)

  • Car parking


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Inside Soho House

Soho house is one of the nation's most important historic buildings. It was the home of the great industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton. While plans drawn up in the 1790's to extend the house were never fully carried out, it remained an elegant and fashionable residence. In particular, it was and is a building that very much reflects its former owner's tastes, creativity and ingenuity. This is reflected in it's interior fittings - it was probably one of the most advanced houses of its day.

The main block of the house has remained essentially unaltered since the late 18th century. It's principle entrance front - the south elevation, is dominated by four giant ionic pilasters. The building appears to be of stone, but its walls are constructed of brick clad with large pieces of slate, decorated with sand dredged paint. This was an innovative and unusual idea, attributed to architect Samuel Wyatt. This slating is only one of Soho's unique features.

Unusually for the period, Boulton's bath would have been steam heated (as can be seen in the display panel in the Bath and Powdery) Not a great deal is known about how Boulton's engineered this, but the cellar where the boiler was situated can be visited, and display panels explain how Boulton created a warm air central heating system, and recount Boulton's earlier experiments with steam heating. On the first floor, an uncovered section of the wall near to the door reveals a heating duct, running beneath the staircase.

Various metal items were probably made at the Soho Manufactory, including the ormolu sidereal clock and James Keir's experimental metal alloy "eldorado" can be seen in the Dining room. Also on show are replicas of equipment belonging to Joseph Priestly, and Boulton's "Fossilry", where he kept mineral and fossil specimens.

   
 
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Ever since the 1700s, when Savery and Newcomen first designed steam engines to pump water form flooded mines - and James Watt built the first engine that could turn wheels. From then on, steam changed the face of Britain. It was the Golden Age of Steam - culminating in the magnificent achievements of The Flying Scotsman!

Mamod Working Steam Models recapture the excitement of that era giving immediate enjoyment and fun. Fire from safe solid fuel tablets, the boilers of Mamod models soon reach working pressure and you quickly experience the joys of steam in action.

 

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