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  • image SM 53/2/40

Reference number

SM 53/2/40


[260] Final design, New Law Courts, 15 July 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, including plan of the former Court of Common Pleas (in wash and pink pen), with the tribunal and the ceiling of the Court of King's Bench indicated, almost as originally executed


bar scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot


Lobby to the / Court of / King’s Bench. / Bail Court. / Tribunal / Court of Exchequer / Staircase. (x 3) / Court Keeper. / Area. / Court of King’s Bench. / Centre / Lord Chief Justice’s / Retiring Room / Door. (x 2) / Attendants on / the Lord Chief / Justice. / Water / Closet. (x 2) / Court of Equity. / Hall / The King’s Remembrancer. / Attendants on / the Lord Chief / Baron. / The Lord Chief Baron’s / Retiring Room. / Court. / (pencil) Lead Flat (x 11) dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 15/07/1823
    15th. July. 1823

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, coloured washes of buff, pink and blue, pen, red pen, pricked for transfer on wove paper (884 x 637)


Bailey, George (1792--1860), draughtsman
The Day Book entry for 15 July 1823 notes that George Bailey was About Plans of the New Courts at Westminster.


There are numerous erasures and redrawn details, especially for the ancillary spaces around the Court of King's Bench. The ceiling of the latter is shown as a dome with an oculus; the ceilings of the Lord Chief Justice's Retiring Room and the Court of Common Pleas (unlabeled) are likewise indicated. Various skylights have been sketched in pencil and the treads of several stairs have been numbered.


Sawyer, 1999: p. 575, footnote 1698



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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