20 feet to 1 inch
By Hawksmoor, in ink, top right: + Inside front of the privy Court / b the thorow Visto’s passing / thorogh which you come / upon ye Canall / C privy Gall between ye K & [Q] / d the Queens Closett looking / into ye pryvy Court / E the Queens Back Stair / F belong to the back Stair / G the Cloyster round, with corresponding letters on elevation; and in graphite, below central pavilion: 90 – 0
Signed and dated
Undated, but datable March 1689
Medium and dimensions
Graphite over incised lines with inscriptions in brown ink; on laid paper, bottom right corner repaired (C18-19); laid down, but with 93 x 137mm gap in centre to expose sketch on verso; 180 x 298
In centre of sheet, to same scale and in same hand: dimensioned sketch survey plan, in graphite, of one bay of Great Hall and parts of what appear to be the ranges to west and east.
Countermark: RDTI (?)
This courtyard elevation coincides closely with the front elevation towards the park (3, below; 110/1b). The central pavilion has a giant order of pilasters rather than half-columns but these are 36 ½ rather than 35 ½ feet high and there is some indecision in the height of the attic . The significance of the principal west-east axis is underlined by Hawksmoor’s note b on the alignment three central openings on the canal. His note d identifies a second, larger Queen’s closet on the Privy Court side, which may have been intended to link across the central corridor of the plan (AS II.116*) with the smaller, one-bay closet next to the Queen’s Lesser Bedchamber on the main park front. The corner stair tower, here the Queens Back Stair, is an ingenious element of the plan, allowing private communication around the inner and more private courtyard side of the palace range.The small sketch on the verso appears to show one bay of the hall, with its buttress projections, and some dimensions in width, including 35 feet and an additional space of about 5 feet, creating an overall width of 40 feet. The hall is in fact nearer to 40 feet 6 inches wide, the dimension marked as the width of the room space in the upper part of the sketch. The sketch below gives dimensions of a room 27 feet wide, but this does not correspond to the widths of any rooms adjacent to the hall in the existing building.
Sekler, 1956, pp. 161-2; Whinney, 1971, pp. 163-7; Thurley, 2003, pp. 153-63; Wren Society, vol. IV, pl. 11, bottom
Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation