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image Image 1 for SM (2) 16/4/28 (3) 16/3/19 (4) 16/3/18
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  • image Image 1 for SM (2) 16/4/28 (3) 16/3/19 (4) 16/3/18
  • image Image 2 for SM (2) 16/4/28 (3) 16/3/19 (4) 16/3/18
  • image Image 3 for SM (2) 16/4/28 (3) 16/3/19 (4) 16/3/18

Reference number

SM (2) 16/4/28 (3) 16/3/19 (4) 16/3/18


[2] Domed design for a new House of Lords, before June 1794 (3)


2 Preliminary part-plan by Soane 3 Ground floor plan by Soane 4 Final plan re-used as (or made as) a lecture drawing


(2) bar scale of 1/16 inch to 1 foot (3, 4) bar scales of 1/7 inch to 1 foot


(2) labelled: Waiting / R[oom], Vestibule, Court (3 times), Scala Regia, Attendants / & / His Majesty, His Majesty's / Robing Room, WC (twice) and House of Lords / 90 by 60 (feet) (3) Waiting Room, Entrance, Doorkeepers / room / &c, Anti Room, Closet, The Lords Robing / room, Corridor (3 times), Court, Conference Room, Attendants / on / the Duke of / Gloucester / &c, Robing Room / for / the Duke of Gloucester / &c, Attendants / on the / Prince of Wales & of the rest of / the / Royal Family, Robing Room / for / the Prince of Wales, Scala Regia, Lobby, Witnesses / attendg / the / House, Council / attending / the / House, Vestibule / to / the House of Lords, Lobby, Black Rod (twice), Messengers / with Bills / from the / House of Commons, The Lord Great / Chamberlains / Room, Council / attending / the / House, Attendants / on the / Lord Great / Chamberlain, Water / Closet, Lobby, Cortile, Attendants / on His / Majesty, The House of / Lords, 85:0, 50:0, Passage, The Earl Marshal, Arch Bishop, Bishop, Water / Closet, Robing Room / for / His Majesty, Recess for Spectators / &c, Doorkeeper, Assistant Clerk / of / Parliament, Writing Clerk, Clerk / of / Parliament, Great Staircase, Passage (twice), The / Great Committee / Room, The Lord Chancellor / & / Judges, The Lord Chancellor, Attendant / on the / Lord Chancellor and 3:9 (3 feet 9 inches, thickness of wall), (verso) House of Lords / Genl Plan (4) labelled as drawing 3, additionally: Old Palace Yard, River Thames and (top left-hand corner) Court / of / Parliament, (verso) 53 6th Lecture

Medium and dimensions

(2) Brown pen and pencil, pricked for transfer on stout wove paper (556 x 677) (3) pencil, pen, brown pen, red pen and sepia washes, pricked for transfer on stout wove paper, (verso) two old repairs (706 x 1255) (4) pen, black, blue and pale pink washes with single ruled and black wash border, on very stout wove paper (verso) numerous old repairs (720 x 1266)


(2, 3) Soane (4) Soane office


(3) James Whatman Turkey Mill Kent 1794


It is assumed that these drawings were made before June 1794 when Soane was officially asked to provide a design for a new House of Lords. In August 1793 he had been required, as Clerk of Works for St James's, Whitehall and Westminster to supply survey plans of the Palace of Westminster to a dozen architects who had been invited to make designs for the House of Lords. The invitation did not include Soane but it is not difficult to imagine him setting to work to produce his own solution.

Drawing 2 was made by Soane with writing pen and writing ink over rough but ruled pencil lines. The design is located at the southward side of Westminster Palace and encompasses the old House of Lords and the Painted Chamber. Most of the new buildings lie eastwards towards the River Thames. In the centre of a symmetrical front is a four-column portico that gives on to a 'Scala Regia' or Royal Staircase. On an axis this leads into a double-bowed room with entrance to the new House of Lords Chamber that is marked as 90 by 60 feet. A long transverse axis leads from another entrance with vestibule and stair to the (unfinished) right-hand side past the King's Robing Room and another room for his attendants.
Drawing 3 was also made by Soane and is complete except for the top left-hand area which drawing 4 shows as having a 'Court of Parliament' instead of the existing Court of Requests. It shows that the Painted Chamber was to be kept and used as a 'Conference Room' while the old House of Lords was re-modelled into two robing rooms and three existing small rooms (to the right) were also kept. All else is new with the Chamber for the Lords measuring 84 x 50 feet and surrounded by a plentiful number of rooms for the King and royal family and for various parliamentary functionaries.
Drawing 4 was used (according to an inscription on the verso) for Soane's Royal Academy lecture 6 (drawing 53). Thus it may be a design drawing that was re-used as a lecture drawing or, considering its size and stout support, it could have been specifically made to illustrate Soane's lecture.

The use of the term 'Scala Regia' (Royal Stair) does not appear at all in the plans and elevations catalogued separately under 'official' / 'domeless designs' and that were made between June 1794 and February 1795. By 1822-23 when Soane was making designs for a Royal Entrance and for a Scala Regia, it had become the accepted term. For those drawings see London: House of Lords, Palace of Westminster: alterations and additions

Literature. S.Sawyer, Soane at Westminster, PhD thesis, Columbia University, 1999, pp,223-4 (drawings 2-4).



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