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image Adam vol.7/125

Reference number

Adam vol.7/125

Purpose

Plan showing a pentagonal building with round towers at the corners, two having spiral staircases. It is divided into three apartments, one with a circular screen of columns, and two indicated as bed chambers. To one side is a detail of a moulding profile.

Aspect

Plan, detail

Scale

inscribed Scale 30 ft to an Inch

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink in James Adam's hand (top left) Moulding round a pannal in the palace of King / James 5th. Edin.r castle, that has a fine effect & wou'd do/ well for an Architrave to a window / the bead is enrich'd with pater nosters / & ovolo with Egg & dart/ the other swelling mould'g with a / leaf; (top right) notes and dimensions of room heights, and the words cellar half sunk above/ the ground; (bottom of sheet) Scale 30 ft to an Inch

Signed and dated

Undated, possibly c.1754

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen 192 x 304

Hand

James Adam

Watermark

Royal arms

Notes

The plan and inscription are in James Adam's hand and belong to the period prior to his Italian tour in 1760, possibly around 1754. The varying thickness of the walls and the irregular pattern of fenestration suggest this was an existing building, possibly of the sixteenth century, which Adam was sympathetically modernising. It is worth comparing this historical scheme with Robert Adam's proposal of 1774 for re-working the tower-house at Barnbougle, near Edinburgh.
The note on Edinburgh Castle perhaps refers to the moulded sill-course of the Great Hall of the castle, part of the James V work of c.1540. The Board of Ordnance, to which the Adam family were Master Masons, made a survey of the building in 1754 and this may explain James Adam's connection and knowledge (see Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments: The City of Edinburgh, pp.11-24; and J. Gifford, C. McWilliam and D. Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, Harmondsworth, 1984, p.95).

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).