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image Image 1 for SM (26) 36/4/27 (27) 36/4/25
image Image 2 for SM (26) 36/4/27 (27) 36/4/25
  • image Image 1 for SM (26) 36/4/27 (27) 36/4/25
  • image Image 2 for SM (26) 36/4/27 (27) 36/4/25

Reference number

SM (26) 36/4/27 (27) 36/4/25


[26-27] Alternative designs, one with Soane's hand (2)


26 Plan of ground floor (with Soane's hand) 27 Plan of ground floor


(26-27) bar scales of 1/10 inch to 1 foot


(26) (pencil, Soane) Qy If Privy Seal has a / Room Sir P. B. [Peter Burrell] / thinks there / is none, A Room for Council / A Room for / Witnesses Attendg / The Lords close to / the --- of the House, Earl Marshal enters / after the Royal family, 1 Room for the Rest of the / Royal family with / Anti Room (remainder of pencil inscriptions illegible) rooms labelled by Soane: The / Entrance / for the Lords, The Court of Requests, Portico, The Entrance / Hall / for His Majesty, Earl Marshall, Privy Seal, Passage to Committee / room over Hall &c, Clerk of Parliament, Assistant Clerk / of Parliament, Court, Committee / Room, The Painted Chamber / & / Conference room, Lobby for / Witnesses, Black Rod, Serjeant at Arms, Truth, Justice, House of Lords, Archbishops, Bishops, Court, Lord / Great Chamberlain, The / Lord / Chancellor, The / Prince of Wales / Room, His Majestys / Robing Room together with passages, doorkeepers, lobbies, ante-rooms, staircases, closet and water closets (27) labelled: Mr Delavals / House, Parliament Stairs, Abingdon Street, Mr Wilberforce, Mr Wharton, Mr Cowper, Mr Rose, Part of / King Henry the Seventh's / Chapel, rooms labelled: Part of Westminster Hall, Lobby, House of Commons, Entrance / for / His Majesty, The Court of Requests, The Long Gallery, The Painted Chamber / and / for Conferences, The Lord / Great Chancellor, Hall, The Earl Marshall, Privy Seal, Lord Chancellor, Court, His Majesty's / Robing Room, Lobby / for the / Witnesses, Committee Room, Serjeant at Arms / to / Attend the House, Black Rod, Assistant Clerk / of / Parliament, The House of Lords, Portico (twice), Clerk of Parliament, Bishops / and / Archbishops, Princes Chamber together with passages, doorkeepers, lobbies, ante-rooms, staircases and water closets

Signed and dated

  • (26) see Notes below

Medium and dimensions

(26) Pen, sepia, red, black, blue, green, yellow and raw umber washes, pricked for transfer, with quadruple-ruled and black wash border on wove paper (742 x 535) (27) pen, sepia, red, black, blue, green, yellow and raw umber washes, with quadruple-ruled and black wash border on wove paper (660 x 524)


(26) Soane with ? Meyer (27) ? Frederick Meyer (1775-?, pupil April 1791-1796)


Soane's mostly illegible pencil notes on drawing 26 suggest that it was the basis of a discussion with Sir Peter Burrell (later 1st Lord Gwydir) who had 'ceremonial responsibility for the Palace of Westminster', (Kings Works, VI, 1973, p. 500). Drawing 14 (q.v.) is inscribed 'This plan made the 31st of July 1794 after I had / seen Sir P. Burrell'. The office Day Books show that Soane had another meeting with Burrell on 7 August 1794 and a further one on 1 January 1795.

Drawing 26, as with drawing 27, places the new House of Commons in the north-east corner of the site and here it lies longitudinally having the throne at the eastern end. Internally the chamber has a cruciform plan with apsidal arms, one of which leads via a lobby to the King's Robing Room. The royal progress has the same portico, staircase hall and route through the Court of Requests and Painted Chamber as drawing 27 but on reaching the lobby of the House of Lords takes a right turn along a passage and another lobby to the Robing Room on the south-east corner.

Drawing 27 places the new House of Lords in the north-east corner of the site so that it lies laterally (north/south) with a blind portico on its eastern flank containing a water closet reached by a side entrance. The King's Entrance on the west side has a portico with three openings and the royal route is through a hall with a double staircase through the Court of Requests and the Painted Chamber with a left-turn into the King's Robing Room that gives directly on to the throne of the House of Lords.

S. Sawyer, 'Soane at Westminster'. PhD thesis, Columbia University, 1999, p. 168, puts drawings 26 and 27 (together with 29) as scheme 'A3' in Soane's sequence of designs for the House of Lords. Elevations 54-56 and 61 relate to this scheme.



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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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