Soho House Museum

Entertainment & Arts

Europe, United Kingdom, West Midlands

Soho House grid reference SP053891, Matthew Boulton's home (from 1766 until he died in 1809) in Handsworth, Birmingham, England, is now a museum (opened in 1995), celebrating his life, his partnership with James Watt and his membership of the Lunar Society of Birmingham. It was designed by Samuel Wyatt and work on the current building began in 1789. Work on extending the building was completed in 1796 following the submission of designs by James Wyatt, Samuel's brother, for the additions of a main entrance front. It is a Grade II* listed building. Boulton acquired the lease of the five-year-old Soho Mill in 1761 and developed it into Soho Manufactory. He expanded the cottage next to it into Soho House, changing it several times. It is faced with sheets of painted slate to give the appearance of large stone blocks. Boulton moved in to Soho House when the Manufactory was completed in 1766. The Soho Manufactory was demolished in 1863. As a Community Museum, that is branch museum, of the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery it is owned and run by Birmingham City Council and is open to the public without charge. It hosts exhibitions of local and community interest. There is a Blue Plaque commemorating Matthew Boulton on the house . In the years between Boulton's leaving and the house becoming a museum, it had several uses, more recently as a residential hostel for police officers.