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Working drawing for an entrance porch, 21 April 1823 (1)


Drawing 9 is a working drawing for a projecting entrance portico, an aspect included in designs after 31 May 1822 (drawings 6 to 8). The portico, as shown in perspective in drawing 16, has four Ionic columns and supports a scrolled acroterion. The section shows the columns as supporting the stone entablature and ornament. A smaller column within the portico supports the projecting stepped timber structure. The porch has plaster on its ceiling. A cornice made of an unidentifiable material, possibly Roman cement, is behind the stone acroterion.

The thin covering over the timber porch, shown in blue wash, is a lead flashing. The plumber for Pell Wall wrote to Soane on April 11th 1823 that he estimated a cost of 25 shillings per cwt (hundredweight) for lead (VII.B.1.17), and it was delivered to Pell Wall shortly thereafter (j/25/3, j/24/5).

Construction was already underway at the time of this drawing. The building was marked out and the footings laid in August 1822 (Priv.Corr. VII.B.1.8), and the walls were raised in October 1822 (Priv.Corr. VII.B.1.14). Apparently the porch was a later modification to the design, as Soane wrote to J. Carline upon requesting a new estimate in November 1823: 'I trust you will come fully prepared to enable me to state the whole expense of the shell of the house as now finished... I am not aware of any material alterations from the drawings you estimated from, excepting in the Porch' (j/8/9).

The flat and thin roof of the porch allowed for a fanlight over the front door. See drawing 15 (SM 86/1) for a view showing the porch short enough to rise only to the springing-point of the semi-circular arches, that is, the base of the fanlight.



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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 Working drawing for an entrance porch, 21 April 1823 (1)