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Survey drawing of estate, 1789


The survey plan or map of the Moggerhanger estate was made by E.W.Townley, a surveyor who made it at Godfrey Thornton's request. Subsequently passed on to Soane, it is elegantly drawn and shows the 123 acres of Thornton's estate with the Lodge in the centre and the Home Farm, with a detached garden building, to its right near the boundary. There are two gated entrances to the estate, a circular garden building and five ponds are shown, the boundary is hedged and fenced, the roads and tracks are fenced and partly hedged. Deciduous and coniferous trees are grouped or scattered throughout. The details of a gate and fences suggest that perhaps Townley as well as being a surveyor had a business supplying such things.
Humphry Repton made designs for the Moggerhanger estate, some of which were implemented. He produced a Red Book dated 1792 now in the care of the Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust. The park is on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. It now consists of 53 hectares or 21.4 acres.
The small house to which Soane made a first site visit on 15 November 1790 (Soane's office 'Journal') was, in the early 18th century, a building known as 'Almonds farm' and subsequently 'Morhanger or Muggerhanger Lodge'. (English Heritage listing text via www.British Listed Buildings)



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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.

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).  

Contents of Survey drawing of estate, 1789