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image Image 1 for SM (1) 9/4/38 (2) 9/4/40
image Image 2 for SM (1) 9/4/38 (2) 9/4/40
  • image Image 1 for SM (1) 9/4/38 (2) 9/4/40
  • image Image 2 for SM (1) 9/4/38 (2) 9/4/40

Reference number

SM (1) 9/4/38 (2) 9/4/40


Preliminary designs, in Soane's hand, one dated 26 April 1801 (2)


1-2 Rough plans for the extension


(1-2) bar scale


1 (Bailey) Plan of part of the Bank and plan labelled (Soane, pencil): Disc[oun]t / of[fice], Governor, Qy Bill Ca-- (illegible), Wait[ing Room], Wa[iting Room], Wait[ing Room], Way for the Public into the Green Court, Gov, Div, Bills R-- [illegible], Wa[iting Room], Door, Qy Entr[ance], (pen) Strong / Clos[et] 2 plan labelled (Soane, brown pen) including: Cash books, Acct Room, Mr Newlands / Hall, Mr Newlands / Room, D.A / Eatg R. (Deputy Accountant's Eating Room), D.A. / Parl (Deputy Accountant's Parlour), Deputy Accts / Room, Accts Office, Court, Coffee Room, G. Cash / Books, Anteroom, Store (twice), Vestibule, Court, Nico----, Discount / Office, Govr, W (four times, Waiting Rooms), Acct Office / Rooms under for Books / & Rooms over, Deputy / Govr, Committee, Passage / to / Private off., Secret[ary], Draw[ing] Off[ice], Banknote / Printg Office, (Bailey) Bank of England

Signed and dated

  • (1) Sunday / Apl 26: 1801 (2) datable to April-May 1801


(1-2) Soane


(1-2) WL 1794


Drawing 1 is a copy of a plan of part of the existing building (the drawing is pricked for transfer) overlaid with a rough plan of the proposed extension. Already in April 1801 Soane has considered an entrance on Princes Street, marked by his pencil inscription Qy Entr, and he has already sited the entrance vestibule on axis with the Chief Cashier's Office to the east (as executed). The rough plan in drawing 1 shows an alternative design for the directors' offices, with the series of waiting rooms and Governor's Room turned on axis so as to be aligned north-south rather than east-west. Re-aligning the parlours in such a way would have made space for a large office on the west side of the site. Also alternatively designed is the office directly north of the Court Room, here shown as semicircular. The plan also includes a passage leading from Princes Street into the Garden Court.

Drawing 2 is also a copy of the existing building overlaid with a preliminary design. The directors' offices have not been re-arranged as they are in drawing 1. As in the executed design (but on an opposite north-south axis) a long passage runs north from the directors' offices, passing behind a colonnade in the court. The new extension consists of elongated rectangular buildings surrounding generous courtyards. 'Mr Newland' refers to Abraham Newland, the Chief Cashier of the Bank from 1778 to 1807.



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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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