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Alternative designs for a small bridge, 13 April 1797 (2)

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Soane's office Journal 2 has an entry for 13 April 1797: two plans and two elevations were taken to Mr Payne in Lothbury but not approving of 'any of the above designs they were retd.' The drawings catalogued here may be those rejected plans and elevations. Further Journal entries for July 1798 suggest that drawings including 'a section for the workmen' were made and in September the site was settled and more working drawings were made (presumably to a design different from drawings 42 and 43). Unusually, there are no final accounts for the bridge which suggests that either it was not built or Soane did not charge Mr Payne.

Correspondence with Daventry District Council in 1992 (Soane Museum information files) show that there is a bridge but not to the designs catalogued here. It has some similarities to Soane's rather rustic bridge in the grounds of his house, Pitzhanger Manor at Ealing (1800-32) though the Gothic finials (of the Sulby bridge) are uncharacteristic.

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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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