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Three alternative designs for an entrance gateway, September 1784 (2)


Design 'No1' shows a gate, composed of vertical rails with a row of lozenges at the bottom. The gate is flanked by an Ionic column on each side that form part of the piers, 12 feet in width, and with an alcove in the centre. The piers (crowned by a frieze, cornice and blocking course) each support a couchant lion and a lamp. A pencil amendment by Soane on the left-hand side enlarges the pier by three feet into a small lodge-house.

Design 'No 2' takes the form of a pedimented arch over a large central gate flanked by two smaller arches with gates. Again, a pencil amendment by Soane enlarges the left-hand pier by about six feet.

Design 'No 3' is single arched structure with a tablet, cornice and leaf-festooned oval ornament. Soane's pencil enlargements include chimneys.

Soane's Note Book 1 (A.T.Bolton's MS transcription) shows that Soane dined on 9 August 1784 at the house of a Norfolk client and there met Sir Thomas and Lady Beauchamp. On 14 August, Soane was asked to call on Sir Thomas when next in Norfolk and 'to bring a Design for an entrance to his Park. Swing Gate, Q[uer]y Iron'. On 25 September 1784, Soane went 'from Norwich on a hired Horse to Langly 9 miles, survey'd situation & left three designs for Gateway. Horse 0.2.6'. It seems likely that these three designs were the originals of the copies made by Sanders and catalogued above.



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.

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Contents of Three alternative designs for an entrance gateway, September 1784 (2)