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Survey drawing of existing house, 1785


Soane visited Chillington on 6 September 1785 and two days later John Sanders was sent to measure the house, returning on 15 September (Journal No1, p.48 and Ledger A, p.76). Presumably, Sanders then made this drawing which has been pricked through for copying. The plan is unfinished so that the southern corner of the smaller of the courtyards is not fully drawn out. The chapel and gatehouse have pencil cancellations over them as does the north-western part of the smaller offices courtyard. The three tones of grey wash may indicate an initial proposal as to retention and demolition so that the more recently constructed part (the 8-bay rectangular block in the centre of the south side rebuilt by Francis Smith of Warwick in 1724) is outlined in a deep black and was kept. The eastern courtyard is washed in an intermediate grey tone and was largely demolished, the western courtyard is outlined in pale grey was and was mostly kept.



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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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Contents of Survey drawing of existing house, 1785