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Presentation drawings of a stables design, 18 December 1792 (2)


This alternative design for a stables block was made the same day as drawing 15, with all three sheets delivered to the client on 21 December 1792. On Monday 17 December, Praed called at Soane's office and he called again that Friday with a message for Soane that 'he wishes to have his drawings this evening as he goes out of town tomorrow'. The office promptly delivered to him 12 fair drawings, including one 'drawing of a front & back elevation of stables' (probably drawing 14) and two other sheets each showing a plan for the stables.

The plans and elevations (drawings 13 and 14) vary from Soane's usual stable designs (for example, Lees Court and Skelton Castle (q.v.)). The arched gateway is framed by banded rusticated columns, their recessed entablatures bearing flattened cornices and supporting large balls. The pedimented gate has a clock in its tympanum and a weathervane overhead. Connecting the entrance block to the stables court are curving screen walls faced with relief arches and crowned by Venetian crenellation. A stable court is surrounded by three ranges that contain stalls and couch houses. The back elevation is more in keeping with Soane's usual stable designs, having recessed arches with glazed crowns. Windows such as these provided optimal ventillation and light for keeping horses, and were promoted by agricultural improvers of the 18th century (G. Worsley, p. 188).

The drawings were made in Great Scotland Yard, at an office Soane kept while he served as Clerk of Works to St James's Palace and other public buildings at Westminster from October 1790 to February 1794.


G. Worsley, The British Stable, 2004, pp. 185-8.



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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 Presentation drawings of a stables design, 18 December 1792 (2)