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Design and unfinished design for a village, 1766, partly executed with alterations (2)


Lowther village was built adjacent to Lowther Newton from c1770, in local grey sandstone and limestone, and the cottages were roofed with Lake District grey slate. The executed scheme - while more extensive than what survives - did not comprise Adam's full design as seen in Adam volumes 33/69-70.

The use of a circus is most unusual here. The circus is usually a monumental urban arrangement, but here it takes the form of modest rural cottages. Moreover, it is one of the earliest uses of circus arrangement in Britain.

Only one half of the circus of cottages survives. It has been suggested that the mirroring two quadrant ranges were demolished during the nineteenth century, and they are now only delineated by the treeline. One half of a Greek cross-shaped court is adjacent to this, with a larger house opposite, and beyond is an open-ended rectangular court.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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