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image Image 1 for SM (39) 51/3/35 (40) 51/3/36
image Image 2 for SM (39) 51/3/35 (40) 51/3/36
  • image Image 1 for SM (39) 51/3/35 (40) 51/3/36
  • image Image 2 for SM (39) 51/3/35 (40) 51/3/36

Reference number

SM (39) 51/3/35 (40) 51/3/36

Purpose

[39-40] Designs for a House of Lords with House of Commons and Law Courts, drawn 1831 or after (2)

Aspect

(39) Plan, which reproduces part of drawing 4 (40) Plan, a reduced alternative to 39

Scale

(39, 40) bar scales of 1/30 inch to 1 foot

Inscribed

(39) The River Thames, Terrace, Abingdon Street, Old Palace Yard, New Palace Yard, rooms labelled: Lib. H of Lds, The / House of Lords, Stair to / Gallery, Warming / Ventilation (added, twice), (pencil) Lobby / (pen, added) to H of L / decorated / with / paintings & / sculptures, The House of / Commons, Corridor & Gallery over for / the Public, Corridor & Gallery over / for Peers, The Court / of / Chancery, The Court of / King's Bench, The Scala Regia, Vestibule, The / Painted / Chamber, St Stephens / Chapel / or / Library for / the House of / Commons, The Speaker's House as altered by Mr Wyatt, (added) true Gothic prin / ciples / in violation of every / principle of Christian / Architecture, The Duchy Court of Lancaster / Records, Lobby, Westminster Hall / (added) Decorated with Pgs & Sculp / & forming one of the principal / approaches to the Houses of Parliament, Entrance / Hall of Members, Servants Waiting Room, Court of Common Pleas, Court of Equity, Court of Exchequer (40) New Palace Yard, Abingdon Street, Old Palace Yard, Note /The Red Tint shews the part of the Bulidings / appropriated to the House of Commons, rooms labelled: The Law Courts, Westminster Hall, The Speaker's House, Cloister, Members Entrance to the House of Commons, The Lobby, St Stephen's Chapel, Committee Room (three times), Corridor (twice), The Court of Requests & / Proposed House of Commons, The Long Gallery, The Painted Chamber / and Conference Room, Vestibule, New House of / Lords, Space for Warming and / Ventilating, His Majesty's / Robing Room

Signed and dated

  • (39-40) 1794 but watermarked 1831

Medium and dimensions

(39) Pen, sepia, dark red, green, blue and pink washes, pricked for transfer on laid paper with one old paper patch, one fold mark, red sealing wax on verso (466 x 590) (40) pen, sepia, raw umber, blue, pink and green washes, pricked for transfer, one fold mark (464 x 588)

Hand

(39, 40) Soane office hand ? George Bailey (1792-1860, pupil, assistant August 1806-January 1837) with (drawing 39) mostly illegible comments added by Soane

Watermark

(39, 40) W Weatherley 1831

Notes

The drawings are dated '1794' but the watermark of 1831 indicates a later date. S.Sawyer wrote that Soane 'continued to produce plans representing the 1794 designs incorporated into schemes for rebuilding the entire Palace of Westminster. One of these was even symbolically dated '1794' but clearly reflected needs and concerns of post-1824; it inserts a range of committee rooms along the west wall of the Court of Requests, which was to be the House of Commons; the Law Courts are drastically retracted at their north end to reveal the entire northwestern corner of Westminster Hall; and a 'twin' block is projected east of the Hall.' S.Sawyer, Soane at Westminster, PhD theseis for Columbia University, 1999, p.

Drawing 39 is a design for much more than the House of Lords. The plan for the Lords (earlier drawing 4) is reproduced on the left-hand part of the larger plan catalogued here. Drawing 39 incorporates a new chamber for the Commons leaving it's former home of St Stephen's Chapel as a 'library for the House of Commons'. Westminster Hall, the Painted Chamber, the Court of Requests and the Cloister, all outlined in a black wash, are to remain. Most of the new buildings are for the various Law Courts. The principal elevation faces the river. Soane's comments are largely illegible but include: Speaker's House as altered by Mr Wyatt, true Gothic prin / ciples in violation / of every principle of architecture, Decorated with Pgs & Sculp / & forming one of the principal / approaches to the Houses of Parliament.

Drawing 40 has the proposals relating to the House of Lords made on earlier drawing 4 (and 39) but, for example, the new House of Commons (pink wash) has been moved from its position facing the river (on drawing 39) and is now facing Old Palace Yard.

See also, for example, drawings 33-36 for elevations and perspectives of a somewhat related design.

For a block plan dated October 1827 that corresponds with the eastwards part of of the drawings 39 and 40 see Soane: Office of Works : London : House of Lords : Palace of Westminster : survey and record drawings, March - October 1827 : SM 51/3/31

Level

Drawing

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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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