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Reference number

SM, volume 110/12


[4] Finished design for the central portion of the east (Park) front, nearly as executedNO IMAGE OF THIS DRAWING IS AVAILABLE AT PRESENT


Half elevation, with part of two adjoining bays to left


5 feet to 1 inch


In ink by Hawksmoor at top right: Enl (Ent[ablature]?): - 31.9 / Cor - 2 – 6 / freec – 1 – 5 / Arch: 1 – 10 / Pill – 26 – 0; and below, right of cornice mouldings of ground-floor piers: Memd:d / A . the moulding at A to project / halfe the depth of the same; and many inscribed dimensions, mostly in pen and brown ink but some in graphite or re-written in ink over graphite; and in ink by Dance, at top left, Gd, and to right in C19 hand, (13)

Signed and dated

  • Undated, but datable 1689-90

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink over graphite under-drawing and some under-scoring; on laid paper, laid down; large area of pinkish-brown staining in left third of sheet, with some cracking and erosion of paper, backed with repair strip (55 mm wide) on edge of sheet (probably 1850 repair); 322 x 452




CL with looped flourish (countermark?)


Like 2, above (110/15), this drawing offers ample evidence for Hawksmoor’s hand and technique in 1689. More importantly, however, it illustrates his close involvement in final adjustments to the dimensions of the central applied portico of the Park front and revisions to the overall design of the two connected façades. An initial sequence of vertical dimensions on the left-hand column and entablature has been struck through in pen or rubbed out. The column height, 26 – 0, marked in graphite, is correct by the scale but is amended in pen to 25 feet 3 inches. Above the columns, the architrave, frieze and cornice entablature are inscribed in graphite as 1 foot 10 inches, 1 foot 5 inches and 2 feet 6 inches respectively – a total of 5 feet 9 inches. All these initial dimensions are those tabulated in ink at the top right side of the sheet. But while the taller column height scales correctly, the entablature scales slightly lower than 5 feet 9 inches and its frieze is drawn the same height as the architrave, rather than 5 inches shorter. The scaled dimensions for the entablature correspond closely to those marked vertically in ink and totalling 5 feet 7 inches. It would appear, therefore, that the column and entablature heights were being reconsidered as the drawing was being prepared, and that the entablature was reduced in anticipation of a lower column height. The revised dimensions for the entablature are similar to those on Hawksmoor’s large-scale, detailed drawing inscribed, Entablature for the Front next ye Parke (7, below; 110/61). This drawing bears witness to the same process of revision, since its left-hand profile adopts the initial dimensions of this design.


Wren Society, IV, pl. 20



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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