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  • image SM 53/2/35

Reference number

SM 53/2/35


[258] Revised design, New Law Courts, 5 April 1823


Plan of the main (ground) floor of the New Law Courts, showing the area bordered by Westminster Hall, New Palace Yard, St Margaret's Street and The Stone Building, with corners of the New Palace Yard façade curved, accompanied by an alterantive plan for the ancillary accommodation (in pencil), and survey plan of existing buildings in Exchequer Court, not as executed


bar scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot (main plan) bar scale of 1/10 inch to 1 foot (vignette plan)


Design for part of the New Law Courts. / Bail Court. / Counsel / Court of Equity / Court of Common Pleas. / The Judges Retiring Room / Gallery of Communication / Court of Kings Bench / [_] 1: 0 above the / level of the / floor of / West[minster]. Hall / Tribunal / Court of Exchequer / [_] 1': 0" above the level of / the floor of West[minster]. / Hall / Lord Chief Baron / King's Remembrancer / Attendants / on the / Lord Chief Baron / Entrance / Judges Clerk / of the / Common Pleas / (vignette) Passage / Exchequer Chamber / Passage between Courts. / Exchequer / Court. / Passage to Palace Yard. dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 05/04/1823
    5th. April. 1823

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, coloured washes of pink and blue, pen, pink pen, pricked for transfer on wove paper (955 x 627)


Sir John Soane (1753 - 1837), architect
George Bailey (1792 - 1860), draughtsman
The Day Book entry for 5 April 1823 notes that George Bailey was About plans of the new Courts at Westminster.


The drawing has been revised and annotated in Soane's hand, with substantial erasures and redrawing. Some rooms are faintly annotated in pencil, and there is some evidence of compositional sketching. The pavilion tower of the Stone Building's flanking range is now disposed as an entrance vestibule with a semi-circular alcove and four ancillary spaces arranged around it. The Court of King's Bench is still reached from Westminster Hall by a grandly-treated corridor. Here it is of four bays, demarked by transverse arches between groin vaults, with a subsiduary aisle on its north side which contain windows. The latter Court's tribunal is also enhanced by having paired columns in antis set at either end. Two symmetrically disposed domes are also shown in the ancilliary accommodation to New Palace Yard.



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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).