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Presentation drawings for entrance hall in a Gothic style, 25 January 1798 (2)

Notes

Soane visited Lord Abercorn on 26 January 1798 with drawings showing a design for a 'Gothic hall' consisting of a plan, elevation and perspective view, as in drawings 136 and 137.

The hall covers the entire front of the old house spanning between the east wing and the offices (the office screen wall is shown as demolished). The castellated projection has two buttressed canted wings covered with crocketed pyramidal roofs, to either side of a centre range with a large Tudor arch. The existing house rises up behind the single-storey hall, its exterior left unchanged and thus somewhat clashing with the distinct entrance feature.

The interior of the entrance hall (drawing 137) has shallow rib vaulting with foliate bosses. The three vaults meet the walls in semicircular arches, each with a drop-arched window or door centred below.

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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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