Heritage plasterwork preserving Sir John Soane's legacy

15 December 2023


Freeman Keith Langton and his team have been working on a country home in Shropshire, designed & built by Sir John Soane, for a number of years. 

Sir John Soane was one of our great English architects. 

Plain John Soane, was born in 1753, the fourth son of a brick-layer. His father’s professional links won him the opportunity to train as an architect. 

Sir John Soane built his own home in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1822. This is now a renowned museum. The museum has been kept as it was at the time of his death in 1837, and displays his vast collection of antiquities, furniture, sculptures, architectural models and paintings. 

The original house in Shropshire, which Keith & his team have worked on tirelessly, was mostly lost to an arson fire in the 1980’s. 

The only remaining records to work to, in repairing the damage, were original pastel paintings dating back to 1822. 

As there were no real drawings or plans to work from, all the work had to be based on designs reproduced from many visits to the site and to the John Soane Museum, in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Where, armed with a press pass, Keith & his team checked all the setting-out & ‘cheats’ that Sir John Soane used, to make full use of all areas & heights of the bare rooms. These visits involved meticulous use of the tape measure and many photos, to create a record of the original decoration. These in turn were used to establish what was originally in the Shropshire house, so that designs for the new work could be produced. 

They had to produce their own drawings, 3D scans, workshop & on-site plans, to make progress. Of course, this was compounded, as no room is square, no walls are in line and no opening sitting true. 

The new owner of the property, has fully supported Keith & his team and even allowed a little artist licence. With the skills of Keith and his team being tested from the outset, the works are now nearly completed and all, to a very high standard.