- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
C.G.T. Dean wrote that 'The building on the northern side of Light Horse Court was designed for the "Officers of the House", or senior officials. It consisted of three tenements, each comprising eight rooms. The house nearest the main building was shared by the Steward and Comptroller; that in the middle by the Secretary & Register, his clerk and the Wardrobe Keeper; and that nearest the East Road were occupied by the Sexton.... Some rooms in this block were subsequently redecorated by Robert Adam or John Soane, but others retained their original panelling'. The Chaplain, as can be seen from drawing 215, was housed in the main building, between the Chapel and the east wing. Drawing 215 does not show the part of the building nearest the East Road.
Drawings 214-215 probably correspond to the Board of Commissioner's minute notes for a meeting on 4 October 1816: 'Mr Soane attended with Plans for the alteration of the Secretary, the Comptroller and Stewards Apartments', which are all labelled on drawing 214 and 215. Drawing 215 shows a plan of the room arrangements before Soane's alterations very similar to that of drawing 214. Below this is a design for Soane's intended alterations.
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).