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image SM 53/8/68

Reference number

SM 53/8/68


[408] Alternative design, Westminster Hall and New Law Courts, 25 May 1824


Exterior perspective of Westminster Hall and the New Law Courts from the north east, with a Gothic façade to the Court of King's Bench, with square corner towers, unexecuted


to a scale


No 26

Signed and dated

  • 25/05/1824

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, coloured washes of burnt sienna, sepia and Payne's grey, within wash and burnt umber quadruple border on wove paper (577 x 460)


Possibly Stephen Burchell (1806 - c.1843), draughtsman
The Day Book entry for 25 May 1824 notes that Stephen Burchell was About drawing of Westminster Hall.


Weatherley & Lane / 1818


This is one of the more topographically evocative drawings, showing Garden Square, the tower of St Margaret's and Westminster Abbey. The Court of King's Bench is treated as a monumental donjon, with projecting corner towers and the main block topped by a uniform attic storey. The height of the whole has been rasied during the drawing process. Fenestration to the principal floor follows that shown in SM 53/8/57. The entrance from New Palace Yard is positioned east side of the north-east corner tower, adjacent to a one-storey linking range to Westminster Hall.

This variant is notable for proposing the total demolition of buildings to the east of Westminster Hall, thereby opening up St Stephen's Court and the Speaker's House (shown on the far left) to New Palace Yard. The latter was created out of the apartments belonging to the Auditor of the Exchequer by James Wyatt in 1793.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation. This catalogue of Soane’s designs for the New Law Courts was generously funded by The Worshipful Company of Mercers and The Pilgrim Trust.

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.

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