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  • image SM 8/3/24

Reference number

SM 8/3/24


[2] Design for window sashes in the hothouse, datable to August 1792


Section of the Sashes & Timbers to the Hothouse; rough elevation and plan of a hothouse with a loggia; rough plan of a hothouse with a semicircular-plan lobby


2 Inches to a Foot


as above, The Earl of Hardwicke, Wimple, Copping / Upper Sash / Middle Sash / lower Sash, (pencil) Shed (four times), Green, Hothouse, dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • August 1792
    Great Scotland Yard 1792
    Datable to August 1792 in accord with drawing 1 and Daybook entry

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen and pink wash on laid paper (489 x 385)


Attributed to Pupil 1788-94 Thomas Chawner, draughtsman
attributed to Thomas Chawner (pupil 1788-94)


B and fleur-de-lis


Drawing 2 is a detail for the hothouse's glass walls and lean-to roof. The continuous glazing has three layers in order to successfully retain heat within the building. As shown in section on drawings 1 and 3, the taller back wall of the greenhouse had no glazing and was made of brick.

The margins of the sheet have alternative designs for larger garden buildings. One has a two-storey building fronted by a colonnaded loggia and between hothouses.

The office Daybook of 1792 records that Thomas Chawner and Frederick Meyer were 'drawing sections of Hot house at Wimp[o]le' on 15 August. Soane delivered to Lord Hardwicke a design for the hothouse the next day, together with drawings of 'parts at large', probably drawing 2. Soane notes in the book that the drawings were returned.



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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.

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