- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
It is likely that drawing 23 is an early scheme for renovating Taylor's cellar by reducing the side aisles from seven to four bays, corresponding to Soane's simplification of Taylor's seven-bay hall above. Sketches on the buttresses flanking the south door, probably in Soane's hand, show an idea to square off the projections.
On drawing 24 there are sketches by Soane for additional wall buttresses turning the side aisles into seven-bay spaces, as executed (see drawing 18), and probably as Taylor originally had it to correspond to his seven-bay hall above. The earlier configuration of the cellar seen in drawing 23 was probably adandoned for reasons of economy.
Drawing 25 is closest to the design of the cellar as executed (see drawings 17-18, 22), with a four-bay centre aisle and seven-bay side aisles linked by corner openings. This is probably the original configuration of the existing cellar built by Taylor, except that this drawing also shows additional unexecuted openings between the centre and side aisles. Sketches in the left bay of the east-west section propose to lower the height of the side-vaulting to strengthen it for carrying the new hall.
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).