Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Frederick's Place, number 6 (The Great House), London, Mr. Adam, 1776 (6)



Frederick's Place, number 6 (The Great House), London, Mr. Adam, 1776 (6)

Signed and dated

  • 1776


Frederick’s Place is an example of the Adam office’s expansion into speculative property development. The project, dating from 1775-1778, would appear to have been overseen by James Adam, with several of the surviving drawings at the RIBA signed James Adam for Brothers & Self-.

Previously the site of the old Excise Office, the building was pulled down in 1773-74, in preparation for the new development. The construction of 1-8 Frederick’s Place, alongside 34-35 Old Jewry, was gradual. However King notes that no. 5 (now a nineteenth-century house) was originally constructed in the Adam development as a warehouse. He also notes that the interiors of no. 8 would suggest this building predates James Adam’s work, and it seems the construction of nos 2-4 was passed on to the builder Samuel Dowbiggin.

A cul-de-sac, Frederick’s Place is closed off at the western end by three properties of an earlier date. The houses 1-4 run on the north side, and 5-8 on the south side. At the eastern end, to create the impression of a square, nos 1 and 8, and a bay of no. 7 project forward, in order to create a narrow entrance. Bolton compares the composition, with one closed end, to that of Stratford Place.

Each of the properties were four-storey, yellow brick buildings, designed with a plain finish of varied widths. James Adam used relieving arches on the ground floors of nos 2-7 to create movement, and King compares their use here to that employed in the designs for Fitzroy Square.

The Great House, or no. 6 Frederick’s Place, is the largest property in the development, with a six-bay principal façade. Interestingly it is reserved under the Adam name. It is the best preserved of the houses, and retains Adam interiors, including the ceiling for the first-floor drawing room. It survives in situ, executed to the design of SM Adam volume 13/103.

No. 7 / 35 Old Jewry (a single combined property) also survives, however the no. 7 façade has undergone significant alterations at ground-storey level. Within no. 35, King notes a surviving Adam-style ceiling in the first floor front drawing room; he suggests that this may be original, but with the centrepiece introduced at a later date. The remaining houses at Frederick’s Place have undergone significant alterations or have since been rebuilt.

At the RIBA there are a number of drawings which relate to James Adam’s work at no. 7 / 35 Old Jewry, for John Whitmore (SC120 / 1 (1-9)). These include plans of the ground, first, second and attic storeys, an elevation of the principal façade with a section detailing floor heights, and a plan and laid-out wall elevations for Whitmore’s counting house. Several of the drawings are signed James Adam for Brothers & Self- and dated London 26 July 1775.

A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 37, 60; D. King, The complete works of Robert and James Adam & unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, pp. 11, 77, 96-97, pl. 121; ‘Contract drawings for 7 & 8 Frederick’s Place, Old Jewry, London, for John Whitmore’, www.architecture.com; ‘35, Old Jewry, EC2’, historicengland.org.uk; ‘Frederick’s Place, EC2’, historicengland.org.uk (accessed April 2019)

Anna McAlaney, 2019



If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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 Frederick's Place, number 6 (The Great House), London, Mr. Adam, 1776 (6)