'Known by the nineteenth century as The Elms, the house occupied by Benjamin Cole ... was one of five large villas erected <i>c</i>.1776-7 along the road known as Bolingbroke Grove, in Battersea parish, facing west over Wandsworth Common. They gave the road its earlier, pre-Victorian name, of Five Houses Road or Lane.... It is likely that [Richard] Norris [the younger (d.1792)] designed some, if not all, of the Five Houses... Benjamin Cole was probably the first occupant of the house later known as The Elms; he was certainly there by the early 1780s. He was most likely the wealthy draper known as Benjamin Cole of Wandsworth and Bath (d.1816) .... Soane's involvement dates from the Spring and Summer of 1792, when Cole seems to have invited him to make alterations and improvements to the house. Though Soane visited the house on at least two occasions ... the commission seems not to have been carried out, as he charged no fees.'
Jill Lever, September 2012
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).