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Charmian Shenton was a longstanding friend of the Soane, having first come to know the Museum as a student of architecture when she studied one of Soane’s buildings, Moggerhanger House. Mrs Shenton was a supporter and then a Friend of the Museum and also encouraged others to support the Museum.
In the summer of 2018 we were contacted by the executors of Mrs Shenton’s estate and informed that Mrs Shenton had, unprompted, left a legacy gift of £50,000 to the Museum. We were astonished by Mrs Shenton’s generous gift, and remember her as a wonderful friend of the Museum. As with many of our legacy donations, however, we unfortunately had no prior knowledge that Mrs Shenton wished to leave a legacy to the Museum, and therefore were unable to express our thanks to Mrs Shenton personally in her lifetime.
Mrs Shenton’s gift was unrestricted and to honour the support she gave to the Museum both over many decades in her lifetime and also in her Will, we have split her donation between an amount to be used on a specific conservation project to restore two of the Museum’s most iconic portraits – the portraits of Sir John Soane and his two sons, George and John, both by William Owen, which hang in the South Drawing Room, and an amount to support the ongoing work at the Soane to care for and conserve the historic building and collections of the Museum and to keep the doors of the Museum open and free for members of the public to visit, be inspired and learn.
Adam Crick had been a quiet friend and supporter of the Soane over the years and in 2016 we were contacted by the executors of Mr Crick’s estate who told us that he had left a legacy gift of £5,000 to the Museum. As with Mrs Shenton, we unfortunately had no prior knowledge of Mr Crick’s plan to leave a gift to the Soane, and so we were unable to thank him in his lifetime. Mr Crick’s gift was unrestricted and so, was put into our Annual Fund and helped to fund conservation projects at the Museum.