- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawings 22 and 23 are the same design showing the proposed additions in red or pink wash and the one-storey rooms in a lighter shade. The proposed eating room has three windows rather than the multiple bays of earlier designs (drawings 18 to 21). The west front is largely changed from earlier designs as well, being more symmetrically arranged around the entrance portico. The portico is positioned at the centre of the elevation so that the front is wider and inclusive of the offices, with large front-facing windows in the servants’ hall and stewards’ room balanced by windows in the entrance hall and a blind bay in the far end. The plan is similarly realigned to enable axial arrangements and sight-lines: the entrance is positioned on axis with the library at the rear of the house; the eating room is aligned with the doors to the offices, with erasure marks on drawing 22 indicating that the secondary staircase was moved to promote this sight-line from east to west. The principal staircase has a geometric plan and is located centrally. Pencil alterations to drawing 22 propose a quarter-stair in the main corridor.
Drawing 24 is a departure from earlier designs, showing alterations to the existing house as well as additions on the north side. As in drawings 22 to 23, the plan is compact and axially arranged. The offices, however, are completely contained within the geometries of the house and an office wing is no longer necessary: the kitchen replaces the eating room at the north-east corner. The eating room is thus relocated to the south-west corner in place of the existing drawing room (built by Soane 1786-88), with the canted bay window removed and the south elevation made symmetrical by the inclusion of a bombé front. The west entrance front has five bays, as in drawings 22 to 23, but the windows are arranged more closely to each other towards the centre.
The inscription 'BLE' on drawings 23 and 24 seems to be unprecedented and is as yet unidentified.
Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).
Contents of Design drawing and record drawings showing an alternative design on a compact plan and with geometric staircase, and an alternative design that includes alterations to the existing building and introduces a bombé front, March 1799 (3)
-  Design drawing showing an alternative design on a compact plan and with geometric staircase, 11 March 1799
-  Record drawing showing an alternative design on a compact plan and with geometric staircase, March 1799
-  Design drawing showing an alternative design that includes alterations to the existing building and introduces a bombé front, March 1799