Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  [12/21] Survey drawing of the attic floor of King William's Court, showing the accommodation layout, and with schedule of accommodation in whole court.
  • image SM volume 109/25

Reference number

SM volume 109/25


[12/21] Survey drawing of the attic floor of King William's Court, showing the accommodation layout, and with schedule of accommodation in whole court.


Attic floor plan


20 feet to 1 inch


In brown ink by unidentified hand, at top of sheet, Attick Story of King Will:[ms] Court / Private men 149, and in centre of plan, In Base Story - - 90 / In Principal Story - - 134 / In Half Story - - 149 / In Attick Story - - 149 / 522; and with numbered scale; and in C19 hand at top and bottom right, 25.

Signed and dated

  • Undated but datable c.1735

Medium and dimensions

Pen and grey ink over graphite under-drawing, with grey wash; on laid paper, laid down; backing strip added on left side, and overlapping edge of original sheet by 13 mm; sheet trimmed at top, probably when pasted into volume; 497 x 364


Unidentified draughtsman in office of Thomas Ripley


Fleur-de-lis / 4


The total accommodation for King William's Court in the list on this drawing falls short of the total of 544 projected in 1728 by 22. However, the resultant 522 may not be correct, as the numbers of men given for each level of the building do not coincide with the numbers of cubicles in each case. On this floor the number is 139, not 149, as stated in the title. On the basement floor it is 62, not 90; on the principal floor 62, not 134, and on the mezzanine floor, 148 not 149 (see Notes for [12/15, 17 and 19]). The total number of cubicles drawn on the four levels of the buiding is therefore 411, not 522. See Notes on [12/22] for figures for Queen Mary's Court.

One reason why King William's Court proved inadequate for the provision of bed space for men is that its west wing was originally conceived as the entry block to the entire Hospital (see Notes on [6/1]). This part of the building was designed as a separate pavilion, its rooms presumably intended for administrative use rather than for the accommodation of men. The more rational planning of the equivalent range of Queen Mary's Court produced huge gains in bed accommodation (see [12/18 and 20]).


Axel Klausmeier, Thomas Ripley, Architekt: Fallstudie einer Karriere im Royal Office of the King's Works im Zeitalter des Neopalladianismus, Frankfurt am Main, 2000, pp. 113-24 Not in Wren Society



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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).