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image SM volume 109/10

Reference number

SM volume 109/10

Purpose

[12/6] Ground plan of the Hospital showing the parts completed and the parts begun or intended to be built, c.1735, together with the walled enclosure and the immediate surroundings of Greenwich and the Queen's Garden

Aspect

Ground plan

Scale

100 feet to 2 1/20 inches

Inscribed

In ink with titles of courts, including at lower centre of plan, Royal Court; to right, along corridor of proposed new range behind King William Court, 150 Men; at bottom centre, above scale, Generall Plan; and below to right, Thames; and in pencil near bottom right corner, NH (a reference to Nicholas Hawksmoor, the inscription possibly by C.H.Tatham); and in ink at top right (of volume), 10.

Signed and dated

Undated but datable c.1735.

Medium and dimensions

Pen and grey ink with grey, pink and yellow washes and some faint additions in graphite. Pricked for transfer. Laid paper, laid down, with central vertical and horizontal folds 509 x 727

Hand

Unidentified draughtsman in office of Thomas Ripley

Watermark

Strasbourg Lily/LVG; IHS/IVILLEDARY

Notes

This plan is one of several prepared under Thomas Ripley's direction in 1734-35 to show the design of Queen Mary's Court and the intended additions in the rear parts of all four courts, together with the enclosing wall, all of which remained to be built. It must post-date [12/6], the plan inscribed by Ripley as a copy of that laid before the House of Commons on 16 March 1735 (inscribed 1734 [Old Style]), as it shows a revised design for the layout of the rear range of Queen Mary's Court which is close to the executed scheme, being a single, continuous block with a central corridor.

The two ranges behind the King William and King Charles Courts are additions to the scheme in [12/6]. The range behind King William Court provides beds for another 150 men, and all the rooms are provided with hearths, indicating accommodation for higher status veterans and invalids, or for officers. The range behind King Charles Court was probably intended as the infirmary, as it is not laid out with cubicles but with larger gallery and hall-like spaces.

The drawing is in the same hand as another plan from this period, NMM ART 3/4 (Bold 2000, fig. 207). The latter does not have the rear ranges on the west side and the houses at the north and south ends of the east courtyards, but it indicates that the infirmary will be in a street block immediately west of the southern half of the site ('Ground reserved for an Infirmary').

Literature

Wren Society, plate 16, bottom

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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