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Midlands - Birmingham

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Top 100 places to visit in the midlands

10. Soho House

Top 10 ten places to visit in the Midlands - Birmingham

Soho House

It was in the dining room of this elegant 18th century house that Matthew Boulton, one of Britains's first industrialists, entertained the leading scientists and inventors of the industrial age.

Boulton’s guests included James Watt, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and Joseph Priestly. They were collectively known as the Lunar Society and Soho House was one of the venues where they discussed ideas and presented discoveries that continue to affect our lives today.

Matthew Boulton lived in Soho House for 43 years until he died in 1809. During that time the surrounding area was developed into a 200-acre estate and the country’s first major factory was created.

Boulton’s Soho Manufactory made gilded ormolu decorative objects like clocks and candelabra as well as silverware and the cheaper Sheffield plate wares, which offered an affordable alternative to silver for the growing middle-class.

Highlights at Soho House include:
The dining room where members of the Lunar Society met to discuss their world-changing ideas.
The surviving sections of the first known under-floor central heating system since Roman times.
The ormolu Sidereal clock, which tells ‘star time’ – made by Boulton & Fothergill but rejected by Russian       Empress Catherine the Great because it didn’t play a tune.
The picturesque 18th century garden, designed using Matthew Boulton’s original planting lists.
 
Facilities at Soho House include a cafe and shop.

Soho House Address:
Soho House
Soho Avenue (off Soho Road)
Handsworth
Birmingham
B18 5LB
England, UK

Soho House Opening Times:
Open from April to October annually. Please follow the Soho House link below for exact dates.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11.30 am to 4.00 pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays
 
Soho House Admission:
Free
 
T  +44 (0)21 554 9122
 
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