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image Image 1 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2
image Image 2 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2
image Image 3 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2
image Image 4 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2
  • image Image 1 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2
  • image Image 2 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2
  • image Image 3 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2
  • image Image 4 for SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2

Reference number

SM (1) 29/5D/4 (2) 29/5D/3 (3) 29/5D/1 (4) 29/5D/2


Working drawings, 28 April 1790 (4)


1 Plan of the Ground Floor of the Addition to the Offices 2 Plan of the Bedchamber Floor and rough section 3 Elevation next the Street and Elevation next the Garden 4 Longitudinal section; cross section; and section of the stairwell


(1-4) bar scale of 1/5 inch to 1 foot, approximately


1 as above, John Patteson Esqre, plan labelled: Butlers Pantry, Groined Arch, Pantry (twice), Quarter partition, Lattice Partition, Knife / House, Dirt Bin, Door, Kitchen, Cellar (twice), lettered A to K corresponding with key: A. The situation of this Wall is determined / by this Pier B. 4½ // C. The situation of this Wall is determined / by the Pier from the Door D. 4½, The Parts colored red shew what is / intended to be new and dimensions given 2 as above, John Patteson Esqre, plan labelled: Nursery, Window above, battening, window above, window above, Powdering / Closet, This Door / to be in the / middle of the Room, battening, Bed Chamber, Jib door, battening, battening, plan letterd A to C corresponding with key: A.A. on the same level // B. The same number of Steps / as C and dimensions given 3 as above, John Patteson Esqre, The dotted lines explain the height / of the window in the Pantry, Recess / 2 inches / deep, B, level of Garden, B, A. The top of this Window is to range / with the top of the Windows of the / Ground Floor of the present House // B. These Windows are to range with / those of the present House, and some dimensions given 4 Section on the / line F.K., Section on the line G.H., A.A. are on the same level, Section on the Line E.F., John Patteson Esqre, These doors to be of the / same height as those / in the present house, level of Garden and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • (1-4) Albion Place April 28th 1790

Medium and dimensions

(1) Pen and grey, pink and yellow washes on laid paper with one fold mark (631 x 544) (2) pen and grey, pink and yellow washes, pencil, on laid paper with one fold mark (637 x 544) (3) pen and wash, pencil, on laid paper with one fold mark (655 x 545) (4) pen and yellow, pink and grey washes, pencil, on laid paper with one fold mark (654 x 545)


(1-4) attributed to John McDonnell (pupil 1786-1791)


Four working drawings for the addition, as in drawings 1 to 4, were sent per Norwich Mail to the client on 28 April 1790 (Journal No 1).

The proposed addition appears to be inserted between the present house and the wall of a neighbouring property. The addition is apparently built into an incline, with one end (left-hand side of drawing) level with the street and the opposite end facing onto an area several feet below ground. This area is accessed via a passage around the garden, as shown on the plan. Soane's additions (shown in pink wash) include two pantries separated by lattice-work, a store room for coal, a 'knife house' and a water closet. A new wall at one end of the kitchen makes the room smaller but it also provides a large window facing onto the area and shedding light into the kitchen. The cellars beneath the garden are enclosed with new brick walls and doors.

Rooms are added above the offices. The new floor has a nursery, powdering closet, bedroom, and a dressing room (as labelled in drawing 6). The floor is level with the first storey of the existing house, and several points of communication are included between the new and old building. As shown in section on drawing 4, the powdering closet and staircase have no external-facing walls and so are top-lit by two lanterns. The nursery, bedroom, and dressing room have generous windows. Chimney-pieces are included in the nursery and bedroom.

Timber is inserted on the first floor to provide battening on the walls and partitions between the rooms, and also to enclose the powdering closet. The plan shows a corridor measuring 3 feet 6 inches wide and about 21 feet long leading from the powdering closet to a water closet in the far corner of the first floor. This arrangement seems a rather clumsy design but it is probably a necessity brought on by the house's limited system of pumps and drainage. The water closet is positioned directly above the same room on the ground floor; the house's cesspool was probably directly underneath. In the 18th century town house, privies were usually placed directly over the cesspool and therefore quite smelly. Ventilation, such as the window over the water closet on drawing 2, was important. Some houses had privies across the backyard, and larger houses frequently located the privy against the house's back wall. The privy at Surrey Street was separate from the house until Soane's additions, which essentially filled in the backyard with buildings. Soane must have struggled with this increased proximity between the living rooms and water closet. This plan effectively keeps the water closet (and its unpleasant odour) distant from the other rooms in the house. It may be an indication of plumbing capabilities in Norwich in the late 18th century, as towns outside of London usually had less advanced systems.


D. Cruickshank and N. Burton, Life in the Georgian City, 1990, pp. 91, 94.



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