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Survey drawings of existing house, March-April 1791 (7)


Barons Court was remodelled by the Scottish architect George Steuart (c.1730-1806) between 1779 and 1782 less than a decade before Soane arrived on the scene. Hugh Dixon (op.cit, p.2) describes Steuart's building as 'a plain rectangular block with a Doric portico and low wings. ... Built at least partially with the intention of creating employment'. Drawings 2-8 appear to be survey drawings of Steuart's building perhaps made with the help of the original drawings. Steuart's principal or south elevation (201 feet wide) shows a seven-bay, three-storey pedimented building with three-bay, two-storey wings. The coloured washes of drawing 5 (sections) show timbers (yellow), masonry (red wash) and chimney flues (blue wash). The ground floor plan shows (on the north side) a six-compartment house (that measures about 98 feet wide by 48 feet) with 'Eating Parlor', 'Saloon', 'Withdrawing Room', 'Dressing Room', 'Great Stairs', 'Back Stairs' and 'Ante Room'. A meagre number of reception rooms that does not include, for example, a breakfast room or library. All else is centred around the 149 feet by 65 feet 8 inches court with its domestic offices that also includes a 'Parlor', 'Tenants Hall' and 'Tenants Parlor'. The plan for the first or chamber floor has 18 rooms labelled 'bedroom' and two dressing rooms. The vaulted basement floor which is 97 feet 10 inches wide and 49 feet 9 inches deep has no rooms labelled and seems to be intended as cellars for wine, beer and general storage.



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

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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 Survey drawings of existing house, March-April 1791 (7)