Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Design for the entrance building front, as built, 1825 (2)
top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
image Image 1 for SM (46) 12/2/17 (47) 12/1/8
image Image 2 for SM (46) 12/2/17 (47) 12/1/8
  • image Image 1 for SM (46) 12/2/17 (47) 12/1/8
  • image Image 2 for SM (46) 12/2/17 (47) 12/1/8

Reference number

SM (46) 12/2/17 (47) 12/1/8


Design for the entrance building front, as built, 1825 (2)


46 Elevation and two sections 47 Perspective from the south


(46) bar scale


46 Design for completing the centre of the South Front of the Bank of England _ 1824 _ 1825

Signed and dated

  • (46-47) probably February 1825 (see Notes)


(46) Soane office (47) Joseph Michael Gandy (1771-1843)


(46) James 1820 (47) James Whatman Turkey Mill Kent 1818


The rebuilt south wall of the entrance building retained the same fenestration as the original George Sampson building, with three arched doorways on Threadneedle Street and two levels of windows above. Fluted Corinthian columns span the building's width at ground level. The entablature has a Greek-key motif on the frieze and lion masks on the cornice. Above the second floor, a parapet is interrupted by pedestals with pedimented caps aligned with the panel pilasters and antefixes below. In photographs of the Bank from the 1920s, by Yerbury and Steele, finials are shown on the tops of the antefixes; these could have been added later by C.R. Cockerell (surveyor to the Bank, 1833-55), who altered the screen wall attic in 1858.

Drawing 47 is a watercolour by Joseph Michael Gandy. The perspective is from the north-east corner of Bank Street, with a corner of Robert Taylor's Bank Buildings showing on the left-hand side of the drawing. The Bank Buildings were designed to complement the Italianate arcades of Taylor's 1765 screen wall.

The cymatium of the façade have sculpted lion masks; Soane reported in one Lecture IV at the Royal Academy that the lions heads were 'placed to carry off through their mouths the water from the roof, in imitation of the cornice of the Tower of the Winds at Athens' (Watkin).


D. Watkin, Sir John Soane: englightenment thought and the Royal Academy lectures, 1996, pp. 150.



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).