An observatory was built in time for the King to watch the transit of Venus in Richmond Old Deer Park in 1768 by Chambers. It was constructed of Portland Stone and contained a movable telescope, and it became the Royal family's astronomical class room. The official time in London was set from the calculations made there. Although still the property of the Crown Estate, it ceased to be used by the royal family in 1840, and was used by the Meteorological Office from 1910 until 1979. There is a current planning application to convert Chambers' building into a domestic residence.
See also: Buckingham House
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 26, 77; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, pp. 197, 223; A. Rowan, 'Bob the Roman', Heroic antiquity & the architecture of Robert Adam, 2003, pp. 48-49
Frances Sands, 2013
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).