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image SM 53/2/75

Reference number

SM 53/2/75


[174] Preliminary revised design, New Law Courts, 23 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, 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. / Vice Chancellors / Court / Tribunal (x 2) / Ante Room / for the / Attendants / on t[he] / Vi[ce] ch[ancellor]. / Lobby / 8 or 9 further / Water / Clo[set] (x 4) / Court Yard (x 2) / High Court of / Chancery / Furnace / for / warming / the Court / Passage into Court / Lord Chancellors / Robing Room / Closet / for / Robes / Attendants / on the / Lord Chancel[lor] / Vestibule / Mark / Keeper of / the Court / Entrance / into / the High Court / of Chancery / The Courts to be all / on the same level / 2: 6 above the level of West[minste]r Hall / 3. 0 The Tribunals above the same / level, 3: 0 above the level of the Courts / 24 Sept[ember]: 1822

Signed and dated

  • 23/09/1822
    Monday 23rd Sept[ember]. 1822

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, with blue wash, pen with red pen pricked for transfer on wove paper (782 x 562)


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 23 September 1822 notes that Arthur Mee was Drawing Plans for the new Courts at Westminster.


The drawing has been extensively revised by Soane. It indicates his own planning of the composition of this area of the New Law Courts, with elements which reappear in various revisions throughout the subsequent drawings until mid-October 1822. The ceilings of the Court of Chancery and the Lord Chancellor's Robing Room are indicated, as it that for the semi-circular room adjoining the Vice Chancellor's Court to the west. It should be noted that the Day Book entry for 24 September 1822 records that Soane had finally settled the plan for Court of Chancery & Vice Chan[cellor]; the same date as the annotation in Soane's hand on this drawing. This variant design, with minor ammendments served as the basis for that shown in drawing SM 53/2/76.


Sawyer, 1999: p 528: footnote 1558
Sawyer, 1999: p 529: footnote 1560



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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