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Survey, designs and presentation drawing for siting the farm yard, June and July 1794 (4)


Soane presented to Lord Hardwicke a drawing of the farm yard on 4 July 1794 (Journal No 2). At this time, the design for the farm yard had been approved (drawings 32 and 33) but the range's position on the estate was not yet confirmed. Drawings 34 to 37 show variant orientations, with drawing 37 showing the approved version.

The drawings show alternative orientations for the farm yard in relation to existing buildings on the estate. Drawing 34 is a survey of the grounds. Drawing 35 is a survey overlaid with alternative sites for the farm yard. The drawing has one site for the farm yard on the sheet, and two other farm yard sites in outline. A detached flier has the yard in plan and can be repositioned around the drawing in order to find its best location. Drawing 36 is a survey with one plan for the farm yard overlaid in brown pen and red wash, with a key describing the buildings. Some of the existing buildings belonging to Mr Elsom and Mr Ratford are cancelled in pencil, perhaps suggesting their demolition (though they are still included in later drawings, as in 37). Drawing 37 is a presentation drawing showing the chosen farm yard orientation as in drawing 36. Soane's inscriptions in pencil show the road and some more plantings, perhaps added when he was presenting the drawing to the client.

A Dairy Court is added to drawing 36, and suggested in drawing 37, as a crescent-plan range connected to the south-west end of the farm yard. As noted in the key on drawing 36, this is the 'spot mark'd by Mr Emes for Dairy, the front to be in the wood, the Poultry Yard to be an Oval in the open span V behind it'. Landscape designer William Emes chose the site for the Dairy, with the front facing a grove of new plantings. In 1790, Lord Hardwicke commissioned William Emes to design the landscape. He planted trees between the new kitchen garden and the site of Soane's farm yard (as 'T' on drawing 36) as well as between the house and the kitchen garden (D. Stroud, p. 760).

The farm yard is placed to the north east of the house, beyond the kitchen garden. It is positioned near Mr Elsom's barn and house, as well as Mr Ratford's house, garden and orchard.



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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, designs and presentation drawing for siting the farm yard, June and July 1794 (4)