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Reference number

SM (80) volume 76/5 (81) volume 76/8 (82) volume 76/9 (83) volume 76/24 (84) volume 76/11 (85) volume 76/12 (86) volume 76/13 (87) volume 76/14

Purpose

Site record drawings, 19 September to 31 October 1810 (8)

Aspect

80 View of Chelsea Infirmary (south front) 81 View of part of the New Infirmary at Chelsea Hospital, from the south-west 82 View of part of the New Infirmary at Chelsea Hospital, from the north-west 83 View of the inside of the arcade of the New Infirmary / at Chelsea Hospital 84 View of the new Infirmary at Chelsea Hospital (south front) 85 View of part of the New Infirmary at Chelsea Hospital (west wing) 86 View of part of the new Infirmary at Chelsea Hospital 87 View of part of the new Infirmary at Chelsea Hospital

Inscribed

80-87 as above

Signed and dated

(80) T.L., Septr. 19th 1810 (81) Septr 28th 1810 (83) Taken Octr. 29th. 1810, Fin[ishe]d. 31st. Octr. 1810 (84) October 6th. 1810 (85) 9th Octr. 1810 (86) Octr 9. 1810 (87) Oct 9th 1810

Hand

(80) Thomas Lee (trial improver July 1810-November 1810, as per inscription) (81-87) Soane office

Notes

The foundations were laid from June 1810, after the Board of Commissioners had (finally) approved the design. Progress views were being made throughout September and October 1810.
Bar drawings 85 and 83 all of these drawings show parts of the older structure of Yarborough House, as in the previous group. Godfrey indicates that the chimney stack of the old building was aligned with the position of the fireplace of the new Infirmary, thus Soane must have relied heavily on the older structure. Indeed, Soane re-used the brickwork of the old house wherever possible (although encasing the old material in new yellow stock brickwork).
Godfrey goes further to suggest that this south wing of Yarborough House may in fact have been the extension constructed under Walpole's ownership and of Vanbrugh's design, given the heavy moulding of the ceiling and the old fashioned marble mantelpiece. (The evidence for Vanbrugh's involvement with this building is built on a letter from that architect to Walpole providing an estimate for work and signed 'your most humble architect' on 27 October 1725). It would seem in keeping with what we know of Soane that he may have particularly wished to keep this part of the building, if it had an established connection with such a renowned architect as Vanbrugh.
The representation of Yarborough House also shows that the south-east wall, as indicated in drawing 81, was entirely without windows, owing to the fact that it looked onto the Hospital airing grounds.

Literature

W. Godfrey (ed.), Survey of London: volume 2: Chelsea, part 1, 1909, pp. 3-8

Level

Drawing

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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.

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).