- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
- (151-152) May 5th. 1815 (153) GB May 6. 1815 and May 5th. 1815
Drawing 151 shows the south and east fronts of the house. Part of the old eastern portion of the house is still visible, with its red tiled roof and dormer window. This is evidently being incorporated new building-work (the yellow stock brick structure that encases most of the east side). The eastern-most end of this part of the old house has been demolished, that is, what was the second dormer window bay and part of the stables. Soane's yellow stock brick extension to the house occupies only the basement and ground floor levels in this view. It is evident from the plan shown in drawing 157 that a chamber floor is to be added.
Drawing 152 of the north front shows Soane's yellow stock brick addition, surrounding the old eastern house. A tall window set within a recess has been added to make the bay symmetrical with its western counterpart (on the north front, with a similar window).
Drawing 153 shows that the lean-to structure on the west side of the south front has been removed. The dug-out foundations, for the basement storey, are particularly clear from this view point.
Drawing 154, evidently made some days after the previous drawings, shows the yellow stock brick addition encasing the whole visible part of the old house, on basement, ground and chamber floors. The upper floor of the old house with its railed roof is the only recognisable feature of the old building left, which was eventually to be altered as well (see drawing 165).
Drawing 153, inscribed 'GB' could have been made by either Bailey or Basevi as both were making drawings of Chelsea on 5 and 6 May 1815, according to the Day Book. Thus it seems likely that the other drawings within this group, all dated 5 May, would also be by either Bailey or Basevi.
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).