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image Image 1 for SM (5) 9/4/39 (6) 9/4/33
image Image 2 for SM (5) 9/4/39 (6) 9/4/33
  • image Image 1 for SM (5) 9/4/39 (6) 9/4/33
  • image Image 2 for SM (5) 9/4/39 (6) 9/4/33

Reference number

SM (5) 9/4/39 (6) 9/4/33

Purpose

Preliminary designs for re-arranging the Court and Committee Rooms, December 1804 and February 1805 (2)

Aspect

5 Rough plan showing an outline of the existing buildings in pencil, overlaid with a preliminary design for the proposed offices 6 Plan showing design as in drawing 5 and the re-arrangement of the directors' offices

Scale

(5-6) to a scale

Inscribed

5 (Soane) Do not hang any / of the doors / in the new Great Off[ice] / Staircase Qy, Qy office now / over Bullion office / Qy Bank note office / & the Room over / it, plan labelled (Soane, some in pencil): Clerk of Co[mmitee] / Wait, Wait[ing room], Gov[ernor's Room], Dep[uty] / Governors / room, Parl[or] / door [keeper], Coffee / Room, Court Room, Lobby, Secret[ary], Cashiers / office, Mr New[land], Mr New, Wait[ing Room] (three times), Court, Commitee / in / Wa[iting], Disc[ount] Office, Clearer, Divid[end], Qy Inspectors, Qy Income Office, (Bailey) Lothbury 6 The Bank of England, Inspectors office over the / discount office, A. Staircase leadg to the Inspectors Office / & the Rooms over the present disc[ount] / office_ formerly Mr Newland's / Room _ this staircase also / leads to the deposit vault / &c, and plan labelled (different hands, some in red pen): Pay Hall, Drawing / office / in the pay[?ment] / Department, 5£ notes & upwards, 30 by 24, 30 by 60, Court, 55 feet by 20 feet / One & Two Pound Notes, 18 by 34 / Cash book / office / 18 Clerks, Drawing / office / 18 by 30 / Acct Dep / 17 Clerks, 18 by 10 / Acct divid / 3 clerks, Storekeeper, Clearer, A, Discount Office / 24 by 40, Strong / Clos[et] (twice), 16 by 24 / G. Cash / book, Chancery / Office / 5 Clerks / 16 by 17, One & Two / Pound / Notes / 20 by 38, Journal & Ledger / Mr Berger & Mr S--- (llegible), Committee in / Waiting, Waiting Room, Waiting / room, Waiting / room, Cashiers Office, Income / & / Land Tax, Mr New[lands] / Room, Secretary, Lobby, Court Room, Commitee, Parlor, Coffee / room, Court, Waitg / Room, Governor, Dep[uty] Gov[ernor], Parlor / door / keeper, Clerk / of / Commitee, Waiting / Room (twice) and feint pencil notes, including *Acct Disc[oun]t Gr--- (Griffin?), Storekeeper, Bullion Court

Signed and dated

(5) The Bank of England / Decr 31 1804 (6) February 17 1805

Hand

(5) Soane (6) Soane and Soane office

Watermark

(6) J Whatman 1801

Notes

Drawings 5 and 6 show a design for re-arranging the offices in the new extension and the south-west wing. The drawings show the first phase of the north-west extension as built but with the rooms allocated to different uses. Robert Taylor's Court and Committee Rooms (1780-88) are shown as offices for higher bank notes and the Accountant's Office (known later as the £5 Note Office) is converted to a Committee Room. The existing directors' offices and waiting rooms are rebuilt to form one long corridor extending west from the Bullion Court. The re-arrangement of the Bank as shown moves the directors' offices (which includes the Governor's Room, the Deputy Governor's Room, the Court and Committee Rooms and the waiting rooms) to the more secluded north-west wing while gathering the more public clerks' offices (including the Drawing Office, the Discount Office, the Chancery Office and the bank note offices) closer to the Bank's main entrance.

In mid-March 1805 the Building Commitee approved Soane's plan for relocating the Court Room and directors' offices, as shown in drawings 7 and 8, but two weeks later they requested an alternative plan. In April, five more directors were added to the Committee to assist in considerations for the ambitious new proposal and on 9 April 1805 the Committee came to a resolution, agreeing to alter the existing directors' offices while preserving the Court and Committee Rooms. The building works were carried out from 1807 to 1808 (see scheme 3:13).

The inscription on drawing 6 suggests including a stair beside the Court Room, leading to the deposit vaults below and the Inspector's Office overhead. This stair was requested by the directors on June 12th 1806.

Literature

D. Abramson, Building the Bank of England, 2005, p.162.

Level

Drawing

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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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