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Reference number

SM 53/2/42


[265] Presentation drawing, Court of Common Pleas, 22 November 1825


Plan of the main (ground) floor of the Court of Common Pleas, with ancillary accommodation and adjacent offices and designated entrances from Westminster Hall and the Stone Building, with flyer indicating a gallery for students on the south side of the Court, almost as executed


bar scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot


New Law Courts._ Plan of the Court of Common Pleas. / Staircase to / Galleries. / Part of Westminster Hall. / Lobby. / Part of the / Court of Exchequer. / The Court of Common Pleas. / Gallery for Students / C / Part of the Vice Chancellors / Court. / Tribunal. / Iron Door / B. / The Judges Retiring Room. / Water / Closet / &c. (x 2) / The Barons of / the Exchequer. / Area. / A / Entrance into the Court of Common Pleas &c. from S[ain]t. Margaret’s S[tree]t. / S[ain]t. Margaret’s Street. / Scale of Feet / Wednesday. / 23d. November. / Attended The Lord Chief Justice / with this Plan. at Westminster. / His Lordship approved of the / Water Closet at A. / The Communication at B, / The Gallery for Students at C, / He wishes the Jury Box to be removed / nearer to Westminster Hall, & the / [_] (if possible) level with the. / Tribunal 1’. 6” or 2ft. higher than / it now is). / The Prothonotary’s Seat to be raised / about 1ft. to range with the / Plinth in front of the Tribunal / nearly. / His Lordship then expressed this [_] / unqualified approbation & that of / his brother Judges of the whole of / the arrangements of the Courts and / repeatedly thanked me for the [_] / accommodation which had been / afforded them [_]:- / His Lordship particularly requested that / M Lewis might be accommodated in / the best manner possible:- Mr Soane / told his Lordship that rooms were appropriated / for him:- / M Soane then shewed those rooms / to Mr Lewis, being two in the Basement / two on the Front Floors, over the Sergeants & Judges Clerks Rooms. The Room on the Second Floor over the last mentioned Rooms that dividing into Two. / Mr S told Mr Lewis that he would see the Lord Chief Justice again, and take his directions on the subject.

Signed and dated

  • 22/11/1825
    Lincolns Inn Fields / 22nd. Nov[embe]r. 1825

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, coloured washes including buff, blue and pink, pen within septupal ruled wash border pricked for transfer on wove paper (512 x 725); flyer laid paper (52 x 60)


Stephen Burchell (1806 - c.1843), draughtsman
The Day Book entry for 22 November 1825 notes that Stephen Burchell was About Plan of the Court of Common Pleas.


Smith & Allnutt / 1823


The annotations record Soane's conversation with the Lord Chief Justice at the presentation of this drawing on 23 November 1825.



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.

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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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