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image SM 53/2/74

Reference number

SM 53/2/74


[173] First design, New Law Courts, 20 September 1822


Plan of the main (ground) floor of the New Law Courts, showing the area between Westminster Hall, the eastern range of The Stone Building and the central block of the latter, including the Vice-Chancellor's Court, the Court of Chancery, the accommodation for the Lord Chancellor, and the existing passageway from Westminster Hall alongside the Court of Common Pleas, subseqeuntly demolished, not as executed


bar scale of 1/5 inch to 1 foot


Sketch of a Design for part of the New Law Courts at Westminster. / Scale of Feet / Barrister's / Room. / Furnace / below. (x 2) / The Vice-Chancellor's Court. / Tribunal / Attendants on / the Vice-Chancellor / Retiring Room for / the Vice-Chancellor / The Court of Chancery / Flat / ceiling. / W[ater] C[loset]. (x 6) / the Lord Chancelloer's / Room. / Attendants on the / Lord Chancellor / Barristers. / Part of the general Communication with the Several Courts and With Westminster Hall / Entrance Hall / for the Lord / Chancellor / W (x 7) dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 20/09/1822
    20th. Sep[tembe]r. 1822.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, coloured washes of pink and blue, pen, pink pen, pricked for transfer on wove paper (782 x 559)


Sir John Soane (1753 - 1837), architect
This drawing has been annotated in Soane's hand.
Arthur Patrick Mee (1802 - 1868), draughtsman
The Day Book entry for 20 September 1822 notes that Arthur Mee was About drawings for the New Courts at Westminster.


The drawing has been revised with a focus upon some of the ancillary spaces. The circular ceiling of the Court of Chancery is shown, and that for the room of the Lord Chancellor's Attendants was orignally indicated, but subsequently erased. The locations of two furnaces, presumably associated with provisions for ventilating and/or heating the New Law Courts, are also indicated. Centring lines for the internal bays of Westminster Hall (labelled W) are also indicated, though save for those centred upon openings from the Hall to the Public Corridor, they bear little influence on the composition of the groundplan. It is not clear whether or not Soane intended to preserve the passage which ran alongside the Court of Common Pleas, which its inclusion on this drawing implies.


Sawyer, 1999: p 527, footnote 1555



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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