- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
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.
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).