Soho House was the home of 18th century entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and the place where the famous Lunar Society met. Boulton built the house on a hill above his extensive Soho Manufacture, the world’s first factory. This impressive house was designed by renowned Georgian architect, Samuel Wyatt, and built in 1766. It included many of the latest facilities such as warm-air heating.
The elegant dining room was a meeting place of the Lunar Society, which met monthly at the time of the full moon, using the light for night-time journeys. The Society comprised including many famous scientists and thinkers of the day including Boulton, his business partner James Watt, Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood. Matthew Boulton lived at Soho House until he died aged 81 in 1809. Various family members lived there for the next 80 years. Since then the House has been used as a girls’ boarding school, a police boarding house and a hotel. Birmingham City Council began extensive restoration work on the house in 1990. Today Soho House and Museum are open to the public and a visit is a must – the house contains original furniture and silver ornaments. You can visit the room where the Lunar Society met and enjoy the gardens set out in the style of Boulton’s day.
Oliver Buckley has been working in museums in Birmingham since the year 2000. He finds working at Soho House Museum very enjoyable because of its unique place in Birmingham and Great Britain’s Industrial history.
Tel: 0121 554 9122