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  • image SM Adam volume 39/21

Reference number

SM Adam volume 39/21


[36] Design for a folly, 1783, unexecuted


Unfinished plan and elevation of a folly; with a three-storey central block, with a narrow canted tower with a conical roof on each corner; and with a pointed arch entrance on the ground storey, containing two trefoil-headed doors, and with three of the same shaped windows on the first storey, and two-light slit windows on the second storey; and with a pitched roof ornamented with crockets and a crucifix. The central block is flanked by one-and-a-half-storey, single-bay links containing pointed arched windows with two trefoil-headed lights; and beyond are two-storey, single-bay square towers, with a door on the ground storey surmounted by a quatrefoil oculus; and with bartizans and a pointed arched window in the roof containing two trefoil-headed lights; and the pitched roof is ornamented with crockets. Beyond these towers there is a single-storey, four-bay crenellated link wall with blind slit windows; and a two-storey, single-bay tapering circular tower with slit and cross windows; and beyond this there is a low boundary wall, with one arched doorway; connecting to a two-storey, segmental, ruinous building, with arched and slit windows and with a three-storey, single-bay square staircase tower to the right-hand side


bar scale of ¾ inch to 10 feet


Another Elevation of a Building proposed to be built on the top of a Rock near Alnwick / by His Grace The Duke of Northumberland (all in the hand of William Adam)

Signed and dated

  • 21/11/1783
    Adelphi / 21st Novr. 1783.

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil on laid paper (653 x 492)


Adam office hand, possibly Robert Adam or Robert Morison, with title inscription in the hand of William Adam


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 1
King, 2001, Volume 2, p. 243
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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