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Sunbury, Middlesex : survey and unexecuted designs for alterations for Roger Boehm, 1794 (6)

Signed and dated

  • 1794


Roger Boehm was a London merchant and a director of the Bank of England. He died in 1803 and his only heir was his brother Edmund Boehm.

The entrance elevation and general plan were published in Colin Campbell's Vitruvius Britannicus, volume 2, 1717, plate 46. Here, the house was described (p.2) as 'designed and conducted by Mr. Fort, Anno 1712' for Roger Hudson. Thomas Fort (? - 1745), trained as a joiner and was Clerk of Works at Hampton Court Palace and at Newmarket. Colvin described the house as 'substantial but rather plain [and] astylar' (H.Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 4th ed., 2008). The three-part plan with quadrant links is the conventional layout for country houses of the period.

Drawing 1 is a survey plan with a pencil suggestion for longer and opposing arcs to the existing quadrants. The survey is close to the published ground floor plan and entrance elevation in Vitruvius Britannicus so that little has changed between 1712 and 1794. Drawing 4, 'Plan of the House ... in its present State' confirms this and its rough pencil proposals are finalised in drawing 5. Here, all the windows on the west side are blocked up, a wall between two rooms on the north-west is removed to make one large room labelled 'Breakfast Room or Billiard Room'. To the south-west, the stair and two smaller rooms are to make way for a library. The entrance hall is to be re-modelled and an inner hall made that is approached by six steps and has four large alcoves. The old eating room to the south-east now houses a geometrical stair, water closet and dressing room. Changes to the first floor (drawing 6) include a new drawing room on the south side permitted by the removal of the large half-turn with landing stair.

Soane's office Journals Nos. 2 and 3 shows that he made a survey on 8 March 1794 and 'drawings of alterations' were sent in October. More drawings were sent in April 1795 and in the following month Soane was 'paid in full' £26.5.0. - so that was that Sunbury no longer exists, P.Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, p.186 states that where the house once stood 'is now open ground'.

Jill Lever, December 2012



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Contents of Sunbury, Middlesex : survey and unexecuted designs for alterations for Roger Boehm, 1794 (6)