Explore Pitzhanger Manor, Sir John Soane’s country house

Pitzhanger Manor was a public library when I first knew it. Now it has been restored and looks as it would have done when Sir John Soane built it as a country retreat. Hard to imagine Ealing in the countryside as you walk from the train station. Once you gaze at the view over the park from the house windows it is easy to imagine you are in a rural idyll.

Pitzhanger Manor John Soane Neo classical house
Pitzhanger Manor

John Soane Architect

John Soane was a superstar architect. Well he was in 1800 but he’d started off as the son of a Berkshire bricklayer. At 15 he was apprenticed to the leading Neo Classical architect George Dance. From there he went to study at the architecture at the Royal Academy and whilst there won a scholarship that enabled him to go on a two year Grand Tour. What he saw as he meandered around Italy was to influence his for the rest of his life.

Pitzhanger Manor room with classical artefacts from Grand Tour
Grand Tour influences

Back to 1700 when John Soane felt it was time to have a country house. He’d already had an impressive town house, that is now the Sir John Soane’s Museum that reflected his superstar status. Not too far from London. When Pitzhanger Manor to seemed as if the stars were aligning. The extension was one of his first projects when he worked for George Dance. Soane didn’t just move in, he knocked down the original building, kept the extension and built an extravagant show piece ajoining it. A little way across the lawn he built a servants wing and kitchen.

Pitzhanger Manor

Pitzhanger Manor was part showroom and part party house. Soane would invite potential clients to Pitzhanger, see that rather fine ceiling, that will go on to inspire London’s red telephone box? I could do one of those for you.

Neo classical ceiling with cloud effect Pitzhanger Manor
Is that the sky?

This innovative lightwell above the staircase? Not a problem. Every home should have one.

Pitzhanger staircase with light well and statue
Staircase goals

Mirrors to reflect the light and just make everything bigger? Excellent idea, have several.

Pitzhanger mirror
Reflective glory

Party central at Pitzhanger was Dance wing. The upper room became a drawing room. Hung with exquisite hand painted Chinese wallpaper.

Pitzhanger Chinese hand painted wallpaper
Quite fancy wallpaper like this in CW towers

Topped with a fancy ceiling decked out in Wedgewood green and blue.

Wedgewood ceiling Pizhanger manor
More ceiling goals!

The ground floor was the eating room.

Long dining table in Neo classical John Soane room
Now that’s what I call a dining table

Soane had a conservatory that ran the length of the back of the house, connecting all the rooms, letting in light and giving magnificent views of his park land. That conservatory disappeared as part of the Victorian alterations and has now been restored giving fine views of Walpole Park, as Soane’s back garden has become.

View out of window over parkland
Room with a view

As you leave, turn round and look at the house. There are big swanky gates directly in front of Pitzhanger, these were built in the early 20th century as Ealings war memorial. This smaller gate to the side is where John Soane wanted you to arrive and leave. This is the view of the house that he wanted you to have.

Pitzhanger Manor John Soane Neo classical house with pillars
Check out those columns

Anthony Caro: The Inspiration of Architecture until 10 September 2023

Anthony Caro’s architecture inspired sculpture. Including sculptures that children can climb inside.

Pitshanger Manor Cafe

Should you want to eat Pitzhanger has a brand new cafe in John Soane’s old kitchen garden, called Soane’s Kitchen. As you know I love a good museum cafe, always good to have another to add to the list of London Museum Cafes.

West London is awash with the country houses of Georgian rich and famous. Soane would have been able to walk to see Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill or pop round to see his friend J M W Turner in St Margarget’s


  • Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Walpole Park, Ealing W5 5EQ
  • Central and District line tube lines go to Ealing Broadway. Great Western and Elizabeth Line trains stop there from all points west and Paddington.
  • Open: Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm until 7pm on Thursday 8.30pm on the last Thursday
  • Admission: £9.90 Under 18 and Friends go free as do Ealing residents on Sunday mornings
Pitzhanger Manor John Soane Ealing West London


  1. March 20, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    Oh wow, this looks amazing. That wallpaper! Love your intro too, made me smile.

    • March 20, 2019 / 10:14 pm

      It has upped my wallpaper goals!

  2. March 21, 2019 / 1:45 pm

    Really interesting to see what was in fashion during that period. #FarawayFiles

  3. March 22, 2019 / 11:00 am

    We really are lucky creatures having this on our doorstep. I can’t wait to head back over there for another dose. We need to go and check out the restaurant next (and the cake of course). #CULTUREDKIDS

  4. March 22, 2019 / 4:53 pm

    Wow, that’s quite a restoration! I recently saw some of those Anish Kapoor discs in Miami, and there was quite a long line of people waiting to stare in. #farawayfiles

    • March 22, 2019 / 4:55 pm

      What is it about reflections that draws us like moths to a flame!

        • March 22, 2019 / 8:03 pm

          True but usually I am a mirror avoider, then one pops up in an art gallery and I’m all over it like a rash!

          • March 22, 2019 / 9:34 pm

            Ha ha!

  5. March 22, 2019 / 5:11 pm

    How fun to explore Pitzhanger Manor! I especially like the lightwell above the stairway and the arched dooways.

  6. wildkidswander
    March 22, 2019 / 5:32 pm

    We love historic buildings like this! Such a gorgeous place. Maybe one day we’ll be able to see it in person!

  7. March 24, 2019 / 10:30 am

    What an amazing building, inside and out. I think I might need to add a dance wing to Lou Messugo!

  8. March 24, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    I used to live in Ealing and never knew about this place. The rooms are beautiful and love the wallpaper. #CulturedKids

    • March 24, 2019 / 4:55 pm

      It was probably ‘just’ the library then!

  9. March 25, 2019 / 7:40 pm

    Those Wedgewood ceilings are amazing – and I love that the gallery went with modern art #MondayEscapes

    • March 25, 2019 / 7:42 pm

      Several centuries travelled all in one building!

  10. March 26, 2019 / 7:04 am

    What a beautiful place! I would like to visit it one day.

  11. March 27, 2019 / 1:52 pm

    The Chinese wallpaper is absolutely stunning. What a place. And the cornicing too, beautiful.

  12. March 31, 2019 / 3:57 pm

    It’s strange to think of Ealing as being where the country house is! What a fantastic restoration, my house needs those decorators in!!! #culturedkids

  13. April 1, 2019 / 8:41 pm

    What an amazing building. Hopefully I’ll get to visit one day! #CulturedKids

  14. April 6, 2019 / 8:24 pm

    What a beautiful place and I love the mirrors !! Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

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