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Purpose

Working drawing for the wells and drains at Bentley Priory

Notes

This plan for Bentley Priory is datable to between 1790 and 98, as it shows the two wings completed in 1792 but omits the entrance hall of 1798.

Water from a spring is channeled through chalk filters and into cisterns, where wooden pipes carry the water to the house and transferred it via smaller lead pipes to another cistern. The hot bath in the basement is fed by a separate well, labelled 'P P' on the plan. The land to the south of the house slopes downward, probably influencing the siting of these wells.

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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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