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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Linley Sambourne House (London Museum #31)

Whilst researching Kensington High Street for my 'Above The Underground' posts I came across this Museum. It was the home of  Linley Sambourne the political cartoonist for Punch magazine and is now on display for a few days each week.  The Sambourne family lived in this house from 1875.

The house has six floors including the basement which housed the kitchen up to the attic where the servants slept.
Walking up from the basement you come to the ground floor with the main front door (sorry about the quality of some of the photos!).
The drawing room.

When he first moved into the house it was lit by gas lighting but he converted to electricity as soon as it became available in 1896.

The dining room

More stained glass windows on the staircase leading to the next floor.

Dark olive green was Sambourne's favourite colour paint and it can be seen throughout the house. An inventory was taken in 1877, listing all the furniture, china and objets d'art in situ. Most of which are still in the position they were bought to fill.

When he moved in here in 1875, the first thing Linley did was to order wallpaper from William Morris and co. This was replaced over the years so not sure which is original.

The parlour.

Comfortable chairs in the sitting room

On the next two floors were the bedrooms

The Sambournes had all modern conveniences fitted into the home including water closets(toilets). Altogether the house had three indoor toilets and one bathroom which would have been generous for the time.

The top floor of the house was always occupied by the servants and the children. The Sambournes employed two live in maids who slept in the smallest room, a cook who slept in the basement room next to the kitchen, and a nursemaid who would have shared a room with the children. There was a day nursery ( not open to the public) where the children played and ate their meals. They would not have spent much time with their parents.  As they grew up they were taught by a governess. Their son was sent to boarding school at the age of ten but their daughter was educated entirely at home.

Also at the top of the house was Linley's studio where he sketched out his cartoons for the magazine.

This is a fern case, a mini conservatory put in by Sambourne a few years after he moved here. Darwin's 'Origin of Species' was published in 1859 and encouraged an interest in natural history.


  1. The house certainly captures a certain period and pleasingly it does not look too set up. I wonder what happens with the house for the many days it is not open to the public.

  2. You do such a great job showing us places you have visited... I love reading about the history and the people... Mr. Sambourne really did like OLIVE GREEN, didn't he? Shows the time period though..... I know how hard it is to get good pictures in a dark room... You did a great job. THANKS.

    Check out my blog post when you get a chance... We took a tour to the Antelope Slot Canyon in Page, Arizona, and it was amazing.


  3. What a lovely home, pretty stained glass windows and even William Morris wall paper. Thanks for taking us on this tour. I even like the term "drawing room", not too common nowadays.

  4. Beautiful house and furnishings. The stained glass is especially nice. One would certainly need maids to help with a house that size!

  5. Such a beautiful place. I love the ambience and the strong sense of the period when they lived here. Thank you for the very generous pictures and history, which made the place come alive for me. Very elegant. :-)

  6. Oh what a beautiful house. I love touring the interiors of old houses.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  7. I love those gorgeous stained glass windows!

  8. What a pretty post to watch all the old furnitures and rooms.

  9. Beautiful home! Love those stained glass windows.

  10. Your write great history and take great photos of what you see in Great Britain ~ thanks!

    A ShutterBug Explores aka (A Creative Harbor)

  11. What a great home to tour. Political cartooning must have paid quite well (not that it shouldn't, but it surprised me somehow).

  12. Love those beds. And that wash basin is fantastic as well.

  13. Beautiful house - he must have been famous if his house is on display.

  14. It is great hoew it has been preserved.The windows are impressive.

  15. I love the owl stained glass and the blue and white fireplace. He must have done quite well as a cartoonist. I had never heard of him.

  16. Fascinating - I've never heard of this place and it looks really interesting. There's something dreadfully familiar about the style - love the windows. I noticed when visiting Osborne House that Prince Albert's bath - very similar to the one you show here - had a lid on it - not to shut the bather in, but to help keep the water warm.

  17. a very beautiful house. thank you for sharing


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