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image SM (29) 10/1/33

Reference number

SM (29) 10/1/33


Design for the Lothbury wall, February 1796


29 Elevation of wall with banded rustication having a pedimented, semicircular arched entrance flanked by raised porticos in antis; above, an attic lettered THE BANK OF ENGLAND with, at each end, a projecting pedestal supporting an acroterion; to the right, a single, raised, blind portico in antis; the roofline between these two attics has a variant of Venetian crenellation in which the usual large balls are replaced by antefixes


bar scale


(feint pencil) including Section through / Pilaster, (Bailey) The Bank of England, Design for part of the North front (verso) The Bank, long Elevation next Lothbury

Signed and dated

  • (Soane) L.I.F Feb: 12: 1796, Feb: 15: 1796


Soane office hand and possibly George Dance (see Note below)


Soane notes in his diary that on 21 February 1796 he called on George Dance (1741-1825) specifically about the entrance design. Before this consultation, it does not appear that Soane included a crenellation such as that shown in this drawing. Also, previous designs show that Soane was seriously considering statues in the attic. Both of these developments may have been influenced by Dance. Indeed, Dance's design sensibility corresponds well with this pared down version of Soane's screen wall. The executed wall retained a crenellation-like row of antefixes on the roofline. After February, the idea for statues was discarded and, instead, the designs focused on variations of antefixes, fluted pilasters and twin recumbent consoles or acroteria enclosing paterae.



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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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