- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawing 129 shows the stables to include at least 26 stalls and nine coach-houses. Coach houses are all indicated by the large arched double doors - two on the south side, probably intended for the governor's coaches, as the stalls to either side are labelled 'The Governor's Stable'.
Some of the smaller rooms around the courtyard must have been stores for harness, saddles, oats and so on. The grooms' and other staff rooms must have been housed above.
The north-west corner room is probably a 'loose box' or 'observation box'. An exterior elevation (drawing 135) shows a lunette window placed high (for light and ventilation) and the plan indicates an adjacent walled space open to the sky, with one entrance and two windows (for observation and further ventilation). Loose boxes in country house stables were only introduced c.1800 and as Giles Worsely indicates 'The loose box was especially favoured for sick horses and horses in foal, and for horses that took violent exercise in relatively short and concentrated periods, followed by periods of idleness, in particular racehorses and hunters'. Towards the south-west corner is a privy with, next to it, an enclosed area, 12 feet 3 inches by 10 feet, open to the sky.
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).