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  • image SM Adam volume 37/59

Reference number

SM Adam volume 37/59


[3] Presentation drawing for a ruinous folly, 1777, unexecuted


Panoramic perspective within a landscape of a ruinous castellated curtain wall, devoid of a keep, punctuated by towers and with semicircular carriage arches on each range. The structure appears to function as an enclosed court


not to scale


Design for the Earl of Oxford (on a separate sheet)

Signed and dated

  • 1777
    datable to 1777

Medium and dimensions

Pen and coloured washes including sepia and olive green within a single ruled border on laid paper (1187 x 408)


Robert Adam


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 4
Tait, 1996, p. 29
Astley, 2000, p. 34
King, 2001, Volume II, pp. 229, 232
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



Exhibition history

Original Drawings of Robert and James Adam, Kenwood House, London, 1953
Robert Adam, The Creative Mind: from the Sketch to the Finished Drawing, Sir John Soane's Museum, 4 October 1996 - 1 March 1997; The Frick Collection, New York, December 1997 - April 1998; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, May - June 1998; The Octagon Museum, Washington, July 1998 - January 1999; Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, February - March 1999
Robert Adam's Castles, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 16 June - 16 September 2000
In Pursuit of Antiquity: Drawings by the Giants of British Neo-Classicism, Sir John Soane's Museum, 1 February - 1 June 2008; Tchoban Foundation Museum für Architekturzeichnung, Berlin, 3 October 2015 - 14 February 2016

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

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).