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Rough survey with designs, November 1790

Notes

Soane's rough survey of the ground floor of house and offices (recto) shows its irregular character. The original house evidently consisted of a room 17 feet 10 inches by 25 feet 6½ inches lit by two windows and an entrance with hall and stair to which was added at some time a further room slightly stepped-back from the main (south) front. Coach house and stables are to the right (east), the domestic offices are to the north behind the house. The part elevation of the south front (verso) shows a two-storey wing to the left and a two-storey with attic front to the right with a pedimented entrance in the centre. A wall section has floor-to-ceiling heights of 12 feet and 10 feet 1 inch.

Soane's rough designs (recto): four plans and an elevation all seek to regularize the new front to the east, giving it a central entrance with 'a large window' on each side. The most ambitious plan has a bowed centre fronted by a segmental porch. The elevation shows a three-bay, two-storey front with a steep pediment over each end bay. A comparison with drawing 16, an unexecuted design of 1797, shows a similar front with a balconied porch on a square plan in the centre.

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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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