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  • image SM (4) volume 42/185

Reference number

SM (4) volume 42/185


Working drawing for Bullion Office with three barrel vaults, 28 April 1807


4 Plan, longitudinal section with 3 arches without impost mouldings, cross section and (pencil) detail of Girder; (verso) plans of piers showing a five-sided pier with three flutes each with a cable insert


as above, (Soane): Arch Concentric with windows, Brick, make these piers to project equally (1:0) the level of the / old wall (?) matches to / ----even into / the Recesses BBB, Stone arch, Stone Spr[ing], 1 foot on its face, Inverted Arch, Bullion Office

Signed and dated

  • Bank / Apl 28 1807




C Patch 1794


Drawing 4 shows Soane's rough design for the construction of a Bullion Office similar to the design shown in drawings 1 and 3. Two semicircular-headed arches separate three barrel-vaults centred on windows facing the Bullion Court. As opposed to drawings 1 and 3, however, the piers supporting the arches are fluted and cabled five-sided piers.

Abramson notes that 'In the late Bank of England transfer halls [including the Bullion Office] Soane was following up earlier experiments with continuous semicircular arches' also used later for the stables at Chelsea Hospital and for Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Literature: D. Abramson, Building the Bank of England: money, architecture, society 1694-1942, 2005, p.179, fig. 217



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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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