- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
On the 10th, Soane records in his private notebook: 'wrote to Hall' (SNB 196). On the 11th: 'At Pelwall. Pulled down the Walls that hid the bas[ement] of the Lodge.' The next day, Richard Hall, Soane's clerk of works at Chelsea Hospital, came in the afternoon and Soane 'settled sundries with him respect[in]g the basement of the Lodge'. The drawings are dated 13th and 14th September and show the new retaining wall around the basement, presumably to keep damp and soil out of the building where the ground level is higher. Drawing 38 shows the 'slope' in pencil. A cavity wall is shown in pink and orange wash, consisting of 9 inch thick stretchers separated by a 4½ inch gap. The wall extends around the front of the building, allowing for a space of 2 feet 3 inches beside the basement door (leading to the area and privy). Drawing 39 has erasure marks on the upper right and upper left hand sides of the drawing, showing alterations to the cavity wall behind the rear of the building. These drawings were probably made on site by Hall and Soane.
Drawing 39 is similar to an image included in Soane's 'Designs for Public and Private Buildings' (1832), p.42. The published image shows the retaining wall as included in drawing 38.
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).