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Designs for cottages, 1779, as executed (2)


To the east of the swan pond there is a group of terraced cottages with a central circular Tuscan porch. The surviving buildings closely follow Adam’s design, with minor alterations made at a later date in which the doors of the end cottages were relocated to the end bays. King notes the presence of a number of buildings to the rear of the cottages, some of which predate the 1779 cottages. He surmises that this accounts for the irregular east wall shown on Adam’s plan SM Adam volume 41/63.

King draws comparisons between the use of the circular porch in this design, and its use in Adam’s schemes for Lord Findlater’s house and a cottage at Strawberry Hill. There are a number of further cottages constructed in Mistley during this period, and it is believed that they relate to a bequest set aside in Robert Rigby the elder’s will. He allotted the sum of £300 for the purposes of almshouses to be built in the village, but it was not until 1778-9 that this was carried out.



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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 Designs for cottages, 1779, as executed (2)