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Presentation drawing and working drawing for the entrance screen, as executed, c. February 1794 (2)


In February 1794 Soane sent working drawings for the entrance screen to Henry Provis.

The executed design was close to drawings 21 and 22 but without, for example the columns in antis. In the drawings, the round-headed gate is flanked by gabled gatehouses with windows framed by three-quarters fluted Greek (baseless) Doric columns. The front is faced with apsidal alcoves. Both the presentation and working drawings are dimensioned, showing lodges that are 16 feet 9 inches square and both containing a single room heated by a chimney-piece, lit by three windows and measuring 13 feet 9 inches by 12 feet.

The screen was built as an entrance to the west end of the estate. Drawing 22 specifies that part of the entablature is to be made of stone while some is built of timber. A cancelled inscription specifies brick for the gateway. By 1804 the building had already developed cracks in its central arch (D. Adshead, p. 97). It was demolished by H.E. Kendall in the mid-19th century.

'Mr Mitford' was William Mitford of Pitshill near Tillington, Sussex for whom, in March 1794, Soane provided several designs for alterations. A misunderstanding involving the builder led Soane to claim that he had destroyed the drawings. In fact, they are in the Soane Museum, floor plans dated 5 March 1794 (SM 46/3/8-9) and designs for the principal front (SM volume 68/1-4).



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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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