Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Specification accompanying drawings 8-13 for tender, c. July 1789
  • Image Not Yet Available

Reference number

SM 73/3/1


Specification accompanying drawings 8-13 for tender, c. July 1789


Gaol for the County / of Norfolk // The Contractors are to deliver in their Proposals / at the foot Superficial / at the foot Cube / at the Square & according to the nature / of the Works to be done. // Description of the Works to / be done in erecting the additional / buildings and making the several / alterations in the Gaol for the / County of Norfolk with the par- / -ticulars of the several materials / to be used in building the Shell / of the said Prison. // Digger / To dig out the trenches for the / foundation of all the Walls of such depths and / widths as shall be directed, and also to dig out / for all Wells, Drains, Cespools, and for all / other such works, as shall be found necessary / and to fill in, and level the Ground after / the Bricklayers, and Masons; If the Earth / should curve in, or Water should be col- / lected, in any of the Trenches, or an other // impediment shall arise, they are to be removed / from time to time, at the expence of the Digger / who is also, to provide at his own cost, all / Materials, and Implements of every kind, / necessary to the performing the several parts / of the before described Works. // Bricklayer / All the bricks to be used / in the several parts of the building, are to be / of the statue [statute ?] dimensions, sound, and well / burnt in Kilns, free from all defects; no / unburnt, samel [*] or soft, or defective bricks, of / any description whatever, will be allowed to / be used in any part of this building, nor / even suffered to be brought on the Premises; / all the Bricks, are to be laid in regular / courses, in close joints and flushed solid / in Mortar, so that no four courses of the / Brickwork shall exceed Eleven Inches and / an half in height, and every fourth course // is to be grouted with hot lime and sand; all / the Mortar, to be used in the foundations of / the Walls, the Cespools, Privies, and Drains, / to be made of the best strong quick stone lime, / and all the Mortar to be used in the Walls &c / above the first plinth, to be of strong quick / Chalk lime (unless where hereafter directed to /the contrary) and the Lime is to be mixed with / clean sharp drift, or River Sand, well beat / with wood beaters. [space] Winchester / bushels of lime to [space] feet Cube of the said / Sand, which quantities are to be proved, by the / Lime burners bills &c, the Sand and Lime are to be sifted through Wire Screens, whose Wires shall be at equal distances, and not / less in number than thirty three, in every / Foot in breadth. // To build all the Walls, Chimney Shafts / &c, of the forms,and dimensions, shewn in the / Drawings. // Inverted Arches are to be turned through the / whole thicknesses of the several external and / internal Walls, at least one brick on the face / and wherever else directed. // To turn Arches over all the Apertures / Walls, and over all the principal Timbers, // The Arches of the several Rooms to be one / brick in thickness with solid spandrels to / the underside of the several floors. // To turn brick Trimmers under the / Slabs of the several Chimnies half a brick / in thickness, and the spandrels are to be / worked up solid. // All the beforementioned Arches are to be formed with regular curves as will be directed. // The Cellars under the Gaoler's Kitchen, / and Committee Room, are to be on Groined / Arches, and paved, with paving bricks laid / laid on their edges, bedded, and Jointed in / Stone lime Mortar. // All the Flues of the Chimnies are to be well / pargetted. // All the Drains are to have their tops and / bottoms Arched, and all the Cespools, and / Air Traps, are to have their Joints flushed / the first, half a brick in thickness with / Terras [**] Mortar, well beaten, and temper'd / Clay nine Inches in thickness, to be laid / under the Steps thereof, is to be bedded and the / Joints flushed, nine Inches deep with Mortar / made of the best Dutch Terras, well beaten / and laid in close Joints, the bottom and / sides of the Bath to be rendered in Terras. // If any of the Walls should be deeper / than described in the Drawings, the work to / be done as before described, and with the same sort of materials. // The Bricklayer is to find and provide / at his own cost, all Scaffolding and utensils / of every kind necessary for doing his work, / and no Scaffold to be struck without the / Architects permission in writing, but to remain for the use of the several Workmen // [*] Samel - 'the brick that lies utmost in a kiln or clamp, and consequently is soft and liable to moulder, as not thoroughly burnt' (quoted: W. Papworth (ed), Architectural Publication Society, Dictionary of architecture, published in parts 1848-1892) [**] Terras - 'a sort of tufo ... and like pumice' (op.cit.) Carpenter / All the Timber to the several / Roofs, Floors, Partitions, Flats, &c to be of the / best Riga firr, of such Scantlings and Dimen- / -sions as shall be directed, and framed / agreeable to the drawings, all the Plates, and / all the Pins, to be used in every part of this / building, to be of well seasoned heart of / English Oak, // Sound Yellow whole deal Gutters, and / strong Oak bearers, and Yellow, whole deal / boarding to the Cisterns and Flats, // The Roofing to be boarded with good / Yellow deals, Three quarters of an Inch thick // Substantial firr Centers for all the / Vaults, Apertures, Groins, Drains, Trimmers, / and Moulds for the inverted Arches, which / Centers, are to remain until Order'd to / be removed, // All the Door frames and Window frames / to be of heart of Oak, six Inches square, // Heart of English Oak, or heart of Riga / firr, to be used in Planking or Piling the / foundations if necessary, with strong Iron / Shoes well spiked, as will be directed. // NB the Price per foot Cube, must / inlcude the labor to putting on / the Screw bolts, Straps, Iron / ties &c to every part of the / Timber Work, // To provide and fix a Hoard (hoarding) in a proper / substantial manner with strong Boards at / least eight Feet high and inch and quarter / thick well braced together and sufficiently / strutted, round the whole of the building as / will be directed; To make and hang two strong / close Gates of the same quality as the boarding / to the hoard to admit Carts and one smaller / Gate to be placed in such parts of the Hoard / as will be directed - and to keep the whole / in constant repair. // Mason / The Whole of the three / fronts are to be of Aberdeen Granite, or of / such Stone as may be tendered with the / proposals and approved of, to be worked / agreeable to the several Drawings, with / proper checque, drips, and water Joints. // The Ashlering, to be laid in equaL / courses, each Course eleven Inches and / an half in height, and upon an average / One Foot in thickness, and of such lengths / asshall be directed. // The Moldings, round the Great / Gateway, are to be of Purbeck Portland Stone, / free from Vents, Shakes, Samel, or Satpetre, / and all other defects, and in every respect / perfectly well wrought, and cramped / together with strong Iron Cramps, or Pluggs / where necessary, and, will be directed // All the Bond Stone, Window and / Door Jambs, Mantle, and Jambs, to Chimnies, / are to be of Purbeck Portland Stone, built // in the Walls, of such dimensions, and / Courses as will be directed. // The Caps to the Chimney Shafts / are to be of Purbeck Portland Stone, each in / one Stone, with holes twelve Inches square / cut through the Flues, and Molded as will / be directed. // The Caps to the Chimney Shafts / are to be of Purbeck Portland Stone, each in / one Stone, with holes twelve Inches square / cut through the Flues, and Molded as will / be directed. // The Stones for Locks, Staples and Pivots / to all the Doors, and plinths to door cases / of the Prison, are to be in length, the / thickness of their respective Walls, and / fourteen Inches wide, and eleven Inches and / an half in height; // The Steps, and Landing of all the / Stair Cases are to be of Aberdeen Granite / each Step in one piece, the Landings to be / six Inches thick and to consist of Stones not less / than [space] Feet in Width with proper / Joggle Joints well run'd with Lead - the Steps / to go nine Inches into the Wall and the landings / one Foot each to be properly pin'd into the / Wall with stone pinnings // All the Stones to be set in Mortar made / of the best stone Lime, prepared as described / for the Brickwork. // Plumber / All the Lead to be used in / the Gutters, Cisterns, Cespools, and other / Works, is to be of the best cast pig Lead, / eight pounds to the foot Superficial; the / Lead on the Hips, Vallies, Ridges, Flashing &c / to be of six Pounds and an half to the foot / Superficial, unless, hereafter directed to / the contrary. // Strong Lead Pipes three quarters of an / Inch Diameter in the bore, to convey the / Water, from the Reservoirs to the Sinks, and / Urinals, in the several stones, and to the / Bath &c, with brass cocks, as will be directed. // NB All labour to fixing, Solders, Wall / hooks &c, are to be included in / the price per Cwt [hundredweight] // Smith / All the Iron to be used in / this Building, is to be of the best wrought / Swedish Iron, unless otherwise directed, and / will consist of chain barrs, with their collars / and hooks, Screw bolts, Straps, and Ties, / to the Roofs, and other timber works. The / Iron grated frames to the Windows of the / several Cells, unless hereafter directed to / the contrary. // The Whole, of such form and weights / as shall be directed. // Strong cast iron Rain water pipes and weights / as shall be directed. // Strong cast Iron Rain water pipes, four / Inches and an half Diameter in the clear, / and a quarter of an Inch thick. // Cast Iron Pipes to the Bath, Shoes and / Spikes for the Planking, and Piling. // Slater / The whole of the Roofing to be / covered with the strongest and best green / Westmorland Slates, on boards, the lower / courses of the Slates to be three feet long, / and of a proper width, each to dimenish / to one Foot gradually to the upper course, / and each Slate to have two Inches and / an half lap; each of the large Slates to / have three eight penny clout Nails well / painted with white lead and Oil, and in / each of the smaller Slates two eight / penny Clout nails painted in the same / manner. Painter / To paint such parts of the / Wood and Iron works, as shall be directed/ three times, with the best white Lead / and unadulterated Oil. // The Foundations to be begun / as soon as possible and to be raised to / the underside of the Plinth and then to be / covered up and properly thatched, and / the whole Shell to be compleated by the / last day of September, One thousand / Seven Hundred, and Ninety. all the / Brickwork and Stone work that shall be/ executed after the month of October, to be / wiht Sea Coal Mortar, unless directed to / the contrary; nor shall any Brick, or Stone // Work, be executed between the first of / December, and the first of March, in any Year. / In the Months, of May, June, July / and August, no work to be done but between the hours of Five in the Morning / eight in the Evening; and in the / other Months, only between the hours of / Six in the Morning, and Six in the / Evening. // All the Materials are to be / the best of their several kinds, and the / whole of the Works are to be executed in / the best manner possible, under the / direction of the Architect, and if any bad / work, or improper materials, should be / introduced, the Architect is to have the said / pulled down, and properly reinstated, at / the expence of the Master Workman, in / whose branch such neglect may happen / and, that no Contractor may think / himself injured by the most minute // precision of the Architect, he is hereby / informed, that the letter of these particulars / will be observed with the utmost exactness / and that beside the necessary attention / of the Architect, there will be a proper / Person constantly on the spot to inspect / the Works, and Materials. // Every Contractor is to find and / provide at his own proper cost, and charge / all Tools, and Tackle, Carts, and Carriages / &c. // Every Workman is to procures such / satisfactory security as shall be required / for the due compleating of his Contract, in / every respect (and with such expedition as / shall be thought expedient) either by him- / -self or in case of death &c, by his / Executors, Administrators, and Assignees / &c // The several Workmen are mutuab / - ly to assist each other, wherever their works / are connected together. // All defects of every kind, that may / happen to the buildings, from whatever // / causes they may arise are to be made / good by the Workman in whose branch / the defect, error, or omission, shall happen // All variations from the drawings, / descriptions &c, unless warranted by / the Architect under his hand writing / shall be reformed and adjusted by the / Contractors at their own proper costs / and charge. // The Architect is to settle and adjust / all differences and disputes between any / two or more Workmen relative to the / executing their Works in concert or / otherwise and with such expedition as / shall be directed, his decision is to be / final and binding to all Parties in / every instance that shall occur in the / whole course of carrying on this building. //

Signed and dated

  • datable to c. July 1789

Medium and dimensions

Brown pen on 10 leaves of secretary paper, stitched together with white thread (327 x 199)


Soane office


crown above GR, lion bearing darts within a roundel, lion bearing staff with cap within a crowned roundel


This tender document is not dated but appears to accompany the preceding drawings 8-13 for what was intended as the first stage of building works, namely the construction of 'the additional buildings and making the several alterations in the Gaol'. The 'finishing intended for the several Parts of Norwich Castle' followed in or before 2 May 1791 for which see drawings 15-22 and specification. Drawings 39-55, May 1792 are for the third stage of construction, that of the male prisoners' accommodation within the Norman Keep.



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).