Bloomsbury Square, formerly Southampton Square, is said to be the oldest square in London. Building began from 1661 and, for example, Henry Flitcroft (1697-1769) built Nos 5-6 (in 1744) while John Nash (1752-1835) reconstructed Nos 16-17 (in 1777-8). It is not know which pair of houses in Bloomsbury Square was surveyed by Soane. The drawings show them to be three bays wide while, for example, a 1787 print published in J.Summerson, Georgian London, 2003, H.Colvin ed., p.23, shows four-bay houses on the east side and three-, five- and seven-bay houses on the west side of the Square.
Literature. P.Dean, Sir John Soane and London, 2006, p.152 (and see also op.cit. p.239 for Pearse)
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).