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Presentation drawings showing a variant of drawing 24, 27 July 1799 (4)


Soane visited the Hon. William Pitt on July 29th 1799 with six drawings for a new proposal. These included four 'cards' as in drawings 25 to 28: smaller presentation drawings Soane would make for his clients. The drawings are plans of the ground and first floors, and perspectives of the exterior and staircase (Journal 3, p. 186). Soane had presented drawings to Pitt only 6 days earlier but it was upon presentation of these latest drawings that the design was 'fully settled'. As in 1798, no building works commenced even though a design was approved.

As opposed to earlier designs (drawings 12 to 23), and as in drawing 24, drawings 25 to 28 show significant alterations to the existing house. The entrance front is symmetrical as in drawings 22 to 24, but it has additional windows (some blind) to form a nine-bay elevation. The bowed south range contains an eating room with segmental ends and a door leading to the principal stairwell. Drawing 28 is a view of this stairwell, showing the first-floor corridor overlooking the best staircase on three sides, the fourth side having windows facing the court. Doric columns, two thirds fluted, stand on the ground floor, supporting the gallery above and framing the eating room entrance.

The ground floor plan (drawing 25) has erasure marks on the left-hand side of the sheet, indicating alterations made to the windows at the front (some blind) and room labels in the offices. The servants’ hall and washhouse appear to be later additions to the drawing, added in rough ink. A secondary staircase is included at the north-west corner.

The first floor (drawing 27) has nine bedrooms and five dressing rooms. A large bedroom occupies the south-facing bowed room, its entrance on axis with the stairwell and a window overlooking the central courtyard. This bedroom is linked to two flanking south-facing bedrooms.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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 Presentation drawings showing a variant of drawing 24, 27 July 1799 (4)