Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Preliminary design for a monument for the chapel, c1778, executed with alterations (1)



Preliminary design for a monument for the chapel, c1778, executed with alterations (1)


Along with another monument at Westminster Abbey, Adam was commissioned to design a sarcophagus for the chapel at Alnwick, dedicated to memory of the Duchess of Northumberland who had died suddenly on 5 December 1776. Aymonino has found that Adam provided a new design for the lid of the sarcophagus in June 1781. The work was undertaken by Nicholas Read (c1787), who was paid £240, and continued until at least 1783.

This design is the only surviving graphic evidence for the monument, taking the form of a Roman sarcophagus, with a paired portrait of the Duke and Duchess in the middle. The executed object was very large, measuring 9 feet long, 4 feet 2 inches wide, and 3 feet 7 inches high, and was placed under Adam’s stained glass window in the chapel at Alnwick. Written descriptions of the sarcophagus describe something a little different to this design, and it is presumed that Read executed the design with some alterations to this drawing. The monument was lost when the chapel was demolished under Sir Anthony Salvin in the 1850s.



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).  

Contents of Preliminary design for a monument for the chapel, c1778, executed with alterations (1)