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image SM 53/3/56

Reference number

SM 53/3/56


[396] Alternative design, Westminster Hall and New Law Courts, 7 April 1824


Plan of Westminster Hall and the main (ground) floor of the New Law Courts, with the original groundplan to New Palace yard shown (in grey) and porposed reductions in the building's footprint indicated (in pink), with a three-bay façade to New Palace Yard and an entrace from the latter, unexecuted


bar scale of 1/10 inch to 1 foot


Sketch of a Design for the Alteration of the new Law Courts at Westminster / made to meet the ideas of a Select Committee of the House of Commons. / appointed 23rd. March. 1824. / ·KING’S·BENCH· / ·EXCHEQVER· / ·EQVITY· / ·BAIL·COVRT· / ·KINGS·BENCH· / WATER / CLOSET. / ATTENDANTS / ON·THE / LORD·CHIEF·IVSTICE· / LORD·CHIEF·IVSTICE·

Signed and dated

  • 07/04/1824
    7th. April 1824

Medium and dimensions

Pen, grey pen, wash, coloured washes of pink and blue, pricked for transfer on wove paper (335 x 557)


Probably George Bailey (1792 - 1860), draughtsman
The Day Book entry for 7 April 1824 notes that George Bailey was About drawings of the New Courts.


This is a variant proposal to that shown in SM 53/3/55, the whole being far less recessedfrom New Palace Yard. The new north exterior wall is set on the line of the internal north wall of the Court of King's Bench, and the linking range to Westminster Hall is reinstated with direct access to New Palace Yard. The tower is omitted and the reconfiguration of the separate Courts far less radical. The new northern perimeter wall and the linking range entrance have been erased and redrawn.



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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