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image SM, volume 110/18

Reference number

SM, volume 110/18


[2] Finished design for the Ionic colonnade across the south side of the Clock Court (former Fountain Court), c.1691


Half elevation, with large-scale details of entablature cornice, balustrade pedestal, and the capital, base and plinth of the columns


5 feet to 1 inch for main elevation; 1 foot to 1 inch for details


In ink by Hawksmoor with numbered dimensions, including 4. 6 on entablature, and 1. 6 and 3. 6 vertically against side of balustrade pedestal; and across bottom centre, 90 - 8 Return

Signed and dated

  • Undated but within range c.1690-91

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink with grey wash over graphite under-drawing; graphite for details on right-hand side of sheetl; on laid paper, laid down; pinkish brown staining and blotching on right 40 mm of sheet, and some cracking and erosion of paper; 312 x 438




Strasbourg Lily / 4WR


The Ionic colonnade is not mentioned in the surviving monthly building accounts, which terminate in March 1692, but it was complete by 1694, for there is a payment to Caius Gabriel Cibber in the Declared Accounts for the period 1 April 1691 to 31 March 1694 for carving the two coats of arms in the curve-headed panels that define the central bay of the colonnade (Wren Society, IV, p. 25). This payment of £530, which included ‘severall statues and figures in metall’ (probably for the Privy Garden range), had been anticipated in a detailed estimate of ‘the remainder of the Buildings to compleat the new Quadrangle at Hampton Court’ datable to about March 1693, which allows £300 for mason’s work ‘to finish the Portico in the ffountaine Court’ (modern-day Cloister Court) (Wren Society, IV, p. 57). On this basis we can place the construction of the colonnade in the 1692 building season. However, the design itself could date date one or two years earlier, for in November 1690 Maurice Emmett, the Master Bricklayer, was paid for ‘cutting way through severall walls in the old Building into Fountaine Court for the new Cloyster’. This is a reference to the colonnade itself. In the following year the main entrance to the Queen’s staircase and new quadrangle from the former Fountain Court was built. Most probably the colonnade was designed at the same time as this adjacent entrance.

Conceived as a cloistral loggia that continues the line of the passage along the south side of the Base Court to the west, the colonnade created a formal approach to the king’s apartments at the south end of the east range of the Clock Court (formerly the Fountain Court or Paved Court). In scale and detail it recalls the Ionic south loggia of the Queen’s House, Greenwich, the capitals having the same angled volutes, although in the drawing they are the standard Ionic type with parallel volutes. paired order (ref. AO 1/2482/296; Works 5/145). Its bays nearly align with those of the Great Hall opposite, and a connection between the central intercolumniation of the colonnade and the middle window of the Hall is emphasised through lines of Purbeck marble paving that run across the Court from the bases of the paired columns to the buttresses of the Hall. The rear wall, not shown in this drawing, screens Cardinal Wolsey’s low apartment range of the 1520s, access to which is through a central and two outer pedimented doors.

The standing figures on the curved pediments were not executed; their place was taken by urns, and no urns were placed on the remainder of the balustrade.

The colonnade in the design is 90 feet 8 inches wide overall. It is set out to achieve regular intercolumniations of 6 feet 3 inches between the pairs of columns and 2 feet 1½ inches between the columns of the pairs. This distribution is achieved by subdividing the half width of the colonnade (45 feet 4 inches) into 11 equal spaces, each 4 feet 1 ½ inches across. The spaces are marked with vertical pencil lines. Two of these spaces define the centre-to-centre distance of each intercolumniation (8 feet 3 inches).

The drawing is a detailed study for the colonnade itself and while its dimensions correspond very closely to the fabric, it differs in some of its details. The capitals have larger, angled volutes like those used by Jones in the loggia of the Queen’s House, and the half columns at the ends of the colonnade are half-pilasters. Wren used a similar form of cloistral colonnade at Chelsea Hospital in 1682-86, but with Doric rather than Ionic columns. The paired Ionic columns suggests knowledge of the recently completed colonnade of the Grand Trianon at Versailles (1687-88), although there is no known engraving of Hardouin-Mansart's new building by the date when the Hampton Court colonnade was designed (see Thurley 2003, pp. 183-84).

The design illustrates Hawksmoor’s more refined drawing technique of the early 1690s (see Geraghty 2007, p. 13). Unlike the earliest drawings for Hampton Court in 1689, this elevation is set out with graphite under-drawing only, without incised lines.


Wren Society, IV, pp. 25, 57 and pl. 23; HKW, pp.160-62; Thurley 2003, pp. 183-84 and fig. 170



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