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image Image 1 for SM (203) 67/4/7 (204) 67/3/3
image Image 2 for SM (203) 67/4/7 (204) 67/3/3
  • image Image 1 for SM (203) 67/4/7 (204) 67/3/3
  • image Image 2 for SM (203) 67/4/7 (204) 67/3/3

Reference number

SM (203) 67/4/7 (204) 67/3/3


Working drawings, 30 March - 26 May 1818 (2)


203 Plan of the Great / Roof for the Secretary's / new Office. / Chelsea Hospital 204 Details of roof


(203-204) to a scale


203 as above, labelled 8 the same, 43 Blocks, 41 Blocks to the other end and some dimensions given 204 as above, (pencil) Plan, Elevation, and Section of Roof on the New-Secretary's Offices, labelled Plan of the angle / Chelsea Hospital -, Elevation of Wall Plate Cornice &c., Wall (three times), Wall / Plate, Pole / Plate, Tie Beam (twice), Truss, purlin and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • (203) 26th May. 1818 / A Mee (204) May 22d. 1818.


(203) A.P. Mee (1802-1823, pupil 1818-1823) (204) Soane office


(204) 1814


The timber roof structure shown in drawing 203 is a half-plan for the main building - it corresponds in scale to the elevation (drawing 211). Drawing 204 shows some details of drawing 203.

The central roof of the Secretary's Office today is of a hipped structure, with a flat top which supports the lantern. Although the lantern was only added in 1821, it seems likely that the timber structure would always have included a flat top, not least in order to support four chimneys at each corner (which the skylight eventually fitted between). Soane had in fact contemplated a lantern earlier in his designs (see note to drawing 210) and probably designed the roof accordingly.



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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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