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Record drawings of the house's exterior, September 1828 (4)


Drawing 45 shows a two-storey entrance front of three bays alternating with four giant panel pilasters. The ground floor windows have incised and recessed arches that surround and flank either side of the Ionic portico. The parapet has recessed segmental arches and a balustrade, separated by piers supporting antefixes. A single-storey office wing with a tall chimney stack extends to the south, on the left-hand side of the drawing. The frieze and antefixes continue around all four fronts of the building. The north front, in drawing 46, has a bombé front between windows and panel pilasters similar to the entrance front. The west elevation, as in drawing 47, has five bays with incised lintels above each window in the form of squared-off Ionic capitals. A parapet with segmental panels is over the centre three bays and below the dormer windows.

The prominent chimney stack of the domestic offices is almost as high as the house itself. Ptolemy Dean describes the chimney and its remarkable sillouette as a specific reminiscence of Vanbrugh (P. Dean, p.32).

To commemorate his architectural career, Soane asked Richardson to prepare watercolour views for an album. It seems that Richardson kept a duplicate set for himself, as an elevation in the Victoria and Albert (du Prey, cat. 91) is similar to drawing 45. It is smaller and it has a different landscape background. The detailing of the house is identical except in small details (railings and frieze) in both drawings. The hand appears the same (Richardson) and the V & A drawing could be a copy of drawing 45.


P. du Prey, Sir John Soane, 1985, in series of 'Catalogues of architectural drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum', cat. 91, p.51; G. Worsley, 'Pell Wall Hall, Staffordshire', Country Life, 7 April 1988, pp. 134-7; P. Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, pp. 34-35.



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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 Record drawings of the house's exterior, September 1828 (4)