- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Soane's office "Journal No1' has an entry for 13 May 1789: 'surveyed Castle'. Presumably he took with him Dove's survey drawings, no doubt originally made for the Norwich City Corporation.
Drawings 2 and 3 of Dove's survey have on their versos copies of Soane's elevations (cf. drawing 7 'Entrance Front' and 'Longitudinal Elevation' dated 6 June 1789). While the drawing paper is of the type used by Soane's office at this time, it is presumed (from the dating) that Soane's office re-used Dove's drawings rather than the other way round.
The site plan shows that the area of the 'Castle Hill' was roughly 256 feet by 256 feet and that access was via a bridge to the south and a road to the north-east. Of the three buildings shown, the castle keep had been used as a prison since about 1220 though when purpose-built interventions were made is uncertain. However by 1747-9 Matthew Brettingham (1699-1769) was repairing the keep/prison as well as building the Shire Hall.
The ground plan and elevation (drawings 2 and 3) show the keep to measure about 90 by 95 feet and 60 (sic) feet high. The ground floor of the four-storey building is entirely given over as a prison and there are 'Stairs to the Upper Gaol'. The walls are between nine and twelve feet thick including two internal walls towards the south-east. To the right is the two-storey, embattled front elevation of Brettingham's Shire Hall stepped back by about 15 feet from the keep.
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).