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Soane’s retreat set to be restored

Soane’s retreat set to be restored

The 1800s country home of one of the UK’s most famous architects is due to be returned to its former glory with extensive renovation work.

The former home of Sir John Soane, in Ealing, will be transformed into an arts venue as part of the project, which has been given local authority and Heritage Lottery funding.

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, chair of a trust for the initiative, said the building formed an invaluable link in a chain of precious houses created by Soane in the capital, including the Bank of England, Dulwich Picture Gallery and his City home, which has been turned into a museum.

"This is a vital moment for one of the country's finest buildings," he said. "Pitzhanger Manor is a late Georgian gem, a jewel in the crown of the queen of the suburbs – but what makes it unique is that it was his dream home."

The home has been compared to a scaled-down version of other great west London houses, including Osterley and Syon House. The works will involve modern fittings being stripped out, the historic interior being revived and closed rooms being reopened. The surrounding grounds will also be returned to their original state, with sheep a possibility, and local people will be given access to the home as a venue for cultural events.

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